What does “implied consent” mean for those accused of DUI? Alabama has an implied consent law for chemical testing of those accused of DUI. This means that by driving a vehicle on a public road, you consent to chemical testing if you are suspected of DUI.
Law enforcement can use any of the 3 methods to test your blood alcohol content (BAC):Blood Test, Breath Test, Urine Test.
If your BAC is .08% or higher, you will be charged with DUI. These tests are not infallible, and it may be possible to successfully challenge this evidence. It is recommended that you hire an experienced DUI lawyer to review the facts of your case before pleading guilty.
If you refuse chemical testing in the State of Alabama, your drivers license will be suspended for 90 days. This is additional to any suspension that could later be imposed by a DUI conviction. An Alabama law enforcement officer will often conduct a roadside breath test at the scene of the DUI arrest with portable equipment carried in their patrol car. You have a right to refuse the roadside breath test, but if you do, you will be required to submit to breath or blood alcohol content (BAC) test at the local police station.
Chemical testing of those accused of DUI must be conducted by law enforcement under strict protocol, any deviation could open the door to a successful DUI defense case presented by our experienced DUI attorneys. The accuracy of the tests can be challenged on the basis of a number of factors.
When a driver is pulled over under suspicion of DUI in Alabama, there is often a significant time lapse before the chemical tests are administered. The chemical test only shows BAC at the time of testing, not at the time of driving. As blood alcohol levels can continue to increase for more than an hour after drinking, this factor could be part of the strategy to defend your DUI charges.
Common DUI defense strategies include:
At Crumbley-Blackwell-Price Attorneys our team of local DUI attorneys have decades of experience defending DUI and criminal cases, fighting charges on behalf of our clients in Huntsville, Madison, Decatur, Scottsboro, Florence, and surrounding areas. Our firm has an impressive track record of success in all types of criminal cases, including misdemeanor and felony DUI. See our recent case results for more information.
We offer free consultations for all DUI related matters in Alabama. To schedule your free consultation with an attorney – call our Huntsville/ Athens location at (256) 539-4464 or complete an online case evaluation form.
Even though field sobriety tests usually involve both mental and physical challenges, they are not valid indicators of whether a person is impaired by alcohol or some other substance. Even the main researcher of standardized field sobriety tests, Marcelline Burns, has testified as to this fact.
Field sobriety tests are given in a “one size fits all” manner. The same field sobriety tests that are given to teenagers are given to older adults, and the same tests that are given to athletes are given to those who are in poor physical condition. Not only are the same tests given, but the test-takers are judged against the exact same standard. Common sense tells us that this is neither a fair nor an accurate approach. Advanced age, obesity, back or joint injuries, or other medical conditions, can render field sobriety tests virtually useless as indicators of impairment. Some people are simply uncoordinated. Some people get so scared that small motor skill function is greatly diminished.
Another problem with field sobriety tests is that they are usually given in a less than ideal environment, often a noisy or poorly lit roadside. Imagine if you had to take a college final under these conditions! Often the ground is not level or there may be cracks or gravel in the area of the test. A recent rain can make the surface slippery. Strong winds can make balancing in the awkward test positions even more difficult. High heels can make balancing more difficult. Cold weather can also increase the difficulty of these tests.
In addition, the natural reaction for a person who is being accused by a police officer of driving under the influence is to become extremely nervous. Being in this heightened state of anxiety makes it difficult to concentrate and perform well on field sobriety tests. This can lead police officers to falsely determine that a person is under the influence.
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