Guirguis Law, P A

Immanuel, GOD With Us

3 ways people can defend against North Carolina DWI charges

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2024 | Criminal Law

Most traffic violations lead to a ticket or citation. Drivers often pay those tickets with little concern about the consequences of doing so. However, there are more serious traffic infractions that may lead to arrest and criminal prosecution. For example, driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges are common criminal allegations in North Carolina. Police officers arrest people during targeted traffic stops, at sobriety checkpoints or after their involvement in a motor vehicle collision.

Quite frequently, those accused of drunk driving plead guilty even though they might be in a position to defend against the accusations they face. Many motorists assume that a failed breath test is enough to ensure their conviction even if they insist that they didn’t drink or didn’t drink too much.

What defense strategies sometimes work for those accused of impaired driving?

Questioning the traffic stop

Police officers are state agents and must therefore comply with numerous restrictions on their behavior. For example, police officers cannot question or detain members of the public without probable cause. Some officers conduct traffic stops without having a clear explanation for why they decided to stop a specific driver. If someone can prove that a traffic stop was illegal, then they could prevent the prosecutor from using evidence obtained during that traffic stop.

Providing medical explanations

Medical issues can affect everything from an individual’s body chemistry to their behavior during a traffic stop. Blood sugar issues, mental health challenges and certain prescription medications could affect field sobriety testing and breath testing. In fact, even specialty diets, like the keto and paleo diets, could lead to inaccurate results on a breath test.

Uncovering issues with a testing unit

Breath test results are only as reliable as the device used to administer the test. The machinery used to evaluate exhaled air for alcohol molecules is very sensitive and prone to inaccurate readings when there are issues with the equipment. Police departments need to have internal records about how they train officers and maintain testing units. If it has been too long since the police department calibrated the breath test device or if there are uninstalled software updates, reason to question the accuracy of breath test results.

Before entering a guilty plea, those facing DWI charges may want to look at the case against them with a skilled legal team to determine what options they have for a defense. Those who fight back against DWI charges successfully can avoid incarceration, fines and licensing penalties.