Whether you are charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated or operating a vehicle with a BAC over .08 or .15, one of the first issues to look at is operation of the vehicle. This seems very straight forward, however, depending on your situation this may or may not be so clear. If you were in an accident or already stopped somewhere when the police made contact with you, this may be an issue to look into. Was there anyone that saw you drive? How much time has passed since you drove? Basically, can the State prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had actually driven the vehicle. If you were in a crash, were you out of the car when police arrived? Were there others on the scene that could possibly have been the driver? As you can see, depending on your situation the issue of operation may just be one to look into.
In Indiana, intoxication involves demonstrating impairment of thought and action. Did you take field sobriety tests? If so did you pass or fail? If not, what other evidence is there that your were intoxicated. Many times the field sobriety tests aren't done correctly or completely. This could effect the State's case in proving intoxication. Are the factors come into play too. Did you act normal in all other aspects? Was there bad driving behavior. All of these factors and more come into play when evaluating the element of intoxication.
The Breath Test
Was the test administered according to the administrative code? Was the test administrator properly and currently certified to do the test? Was the test completed within the three hour presumptive period? If your test was very close to a .08, is it possible your test was below a .08 at the time of driving? There are numerous technical considerations to be evaluated on the breath test results.
The experience of the officerIf
A DUI investigation is actually fairly complex for a police officer to complete. For an officer that does not do these investigations very often, it may be very difficult for them to remember all the necessary steps to conduct the investigation properly. The field sobriety tests have to be administered per the NHTSA standards. The officer must know how to instruct these tests, how to properly evaluate the tests, and how to properly score the tests. If the officer comes up short on any of these areas then it could weaken the State's case. The officer also needs to know all the proper procedures for conducting the certified breath tests. If these procedures are not done completely and correctly, then the results may not be admissible.
Your DUI case can be complicated to evaluate and investigate. A properly trained defense attorney will look at these 4 issues as well as several others. Then and only then, can you make an appropriate decision on how best to resolve your case.