When a police officer arrests someone on suspicion of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense, they typically do so after gathering evidence, like breath test results. That evidence will then end up in the hands of a prosecutor, who will use it to try to convince the criminal courts that the defendant in a specific case broke the law.
It is quite common for New York drivers accused of a DWI offense to plead guilty even when they insist that they hadn’t had too much to drink. They may assume that the evidence against them will be impossible to overcome. However, many criminal defendants facing DWI charges avoid a conviction by employing one or more of the three strategies below.
1. They challenge the accuracy of a breath test
Although many people think of breath tests as conclusive evidence of intoxication, a review of breath testing results shows that the opposite is true. Many cases with failed breath test results could involve a driver who was not over the legal limit or who had nothing to drink at all. Fighting the charges on the basis of the test being inaccurate is an option for some drivers.
2. They challenge the traffic stop
Police officers need a valid reason to pull someone over in the first place. When a driver believes that an officer racially profiled them or did not have a reason to stop their vehicle, the illegal traffic stop could play a key role in their defense strategy.
3. They challenge the interpretation of evidence
Sometimes the issue is not that the officer got inaccurate information from a test but rather that they reached the wrong conclusion because of those test results.
Drivers might have prescriptions for certain medications or diagnostic records for specific medical issues that will raise questions about the accuracy of their chemical test results. Health issues ranging from diabetes to rare conditions like auto-brewery syndrome might provide an alternate explanation for the outcome of someone’s chemical breath test.
Drivers who look into all of their options when facing a DWI charge will have the best chance of preserving their freedoms and avoiding a criminal record. Reviewing the prosecutor’s evidence can be an excellent starting point for those hoping to defend against New York DWI charges.