November 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Faulty sobriety tests may give some a chance to contest in court
Receiving a drunk driving conviction in Indiana comes with serious consequences. The Century Council reports that in 2011, there were 20,043 arrests for operating while intoxicated in the state; these numbers are the reason lawmakers take driving under the influence seriously. Strict drunk driving penalties
are meant to protect people on the road, as well as to discourage people from making the decision to drive drunk and endanger themselves and others.
However, some people may dispute that their drunk driving convictions were unfair. Recent studies have shown that certain types of sobriety tests may be conducted improperly, or that breath test machines may be in error. If someone has reason to believe that a sobriety test resulted in a false arrest, he or she has the right to contest the charges in court.
Improper breath and field sobriety tests
Some tests have shown that chemicals near certain breath tests can result in a false positive, thereby resulting in a wrongful arrest, says The Poison Review. According to the study, the use of hand sanitizer near a breath test resulted in the machine reading levels above the legal limit, despite the tests being administered to a sober person.
And according to the Herald Tribune, some breast test machines might have resulted in thousands of people being wrongfully arrested for driving under the influence, after many breath test machines in Florida had been found to be incorrectly calibrated. They resulted in an unusually high amount of blood alcohol levels three times the legal limit, as well as impossible breath volumes for human lungs to blow.
ABC Action News says field sobriety tests can often result in sober people failing the test and being arrested for driving under the influence. Older drivers, those with certain health conditions and those with balance problems may have trouble performing the common types of field sobriety tests that challenge a person's balance and dexterity. One woman challenged her DUI charge after failing the field sobriety test, stating that her weight made it painful to walk and she'd taken off her shoes to drive, according to The Daily Progress.
Reasons to challenge a drunk driving arrest
OWI convictions are costly and can affect a person's driving record and legal standing for years. A conviction can result in the loss of a driver's license for 180 days, as well as fines and possible jail time. Additionally, people with a drunk driving conviction in Indiana can be required to have expensive high-risk auto insurance for three years. These penalties are unfair for those who were wrongfully arrested due to a sobriety test
Contacting an attorney
Anyone with drunk driving charges should contact an experience drunk driving defense attorney, especially if he or she feels they were given an unfair or erroneous sobriety test. Field sobriety tests and breath machine tests are not always accurate, and can be challenged in court. If it's determined that the test was done in error, many of the charges can be reduced or even dropped.
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