Many people believe it is illegal to drink and drive. However, drinking and driving is not the same as driving under the influence of alcohol, also known driving while intoxicated or operating a vehicle while impaired. Drunk or intoxicated driving refers to driving in a condition that your state says is illegal. So, apart from being charged for driving under the influence of alcohol, you can also be charged with drugged driving. Police officers in every state are trained to recognize a driver that is driving in an impaired condition. Police officers detect DUI through vehicle in motion, personal contact and pre-arrest screening.
If a police officer notices a driver who is operating a vehicle recklessly and in unsafe manner, that driver will be pulled over under the suspicion of DUI. If the driver fails show signs of impaired physical and cognitive abilities and has a blood alcohol level equal or higher than .08%, he will be arrested and charged with driving under the influence. If you are charged with drunk driving, it is important to hire a local Wisconsin DUI attorney to prepare your defense.
Vehicle in Motion
The first phase of detecting impaired driving is through observing the vehicle in motion. If you show signs of reckless driving, the police officer will stop your vehicle and suspect you have been drinking and driving.
Once you are pulled over, the police officer will ask you a few questions and determine whether you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you show signs of impaired cognitive and physical abilities, you will be asked to exit your vehicle and conduct a series of field sobriety tests. You will also undergo a chemical test, also known as a breathalyzer test. Your blood alcohol content cannot be equal or over .08%. However, even your BAC level is lower than the legal limit, if you show signs of intoxicated driving, you can still be arrested and charged with DUI.
In order to arrest you, the police officer that pulled you over must have a probable cause to arrest you for DUI. As we mentioned above, this is done by conducting field sobriety tests and administering preliminary breath test. Other non-standardized field sobriety tests can also be used in the process.
In all three phases of DUI detection, the law enforcement officer looks for clues that clearly show or increase the likelihood that the driver was operating a vehicle while impaired. All evidence of intoxicated driving will be included in a police report. Your DUI defender has the right to examine this report and question its validity. When charged with DUI, don’t expect to have the charges completely dropped, especially if there is hard evidence. However, in almost 100% of the cases, your lawyer can significantly reduce your charges and penalties or make a plea deal with the prosecutors. When hiring a local drunk driving lawyer, it is important to find someone who has a good reputation and with whom you feel comfortable to work with.