Intoxication Tests

The state must prove one of three things to establish a person is legally intoxicated. To summarize-

  1. A person lost the normal use of their mental faculties due to the introduction of drugs or alcohol

    OR

  2. A person lost the normal use of their physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol

    OR

  3. A person has a blood alcohol concentration of a .08 or higher at the time of driving.

What does it mean for a person to lose their normal physical or mental faculties?

Clearly, the first two definitions are completely subjective and can vary from person to person. To build a case against you, the officer will ask you to perform a series of standard field sobriety tests (SFST).

There are 3 tests an officer will usually ask you to perform: The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), the Walk and Turn, and the One Leg Stand. These tests were created and standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Read in detail about each of these tests and the many issues surrounding them.

Although each test may seem simple in theory, they are not easy to perform and involve circumstances beyond your control. It does not take being drunk to fail these tests.

Cannon Law not only understands how these tests are given and how a person is expected to perform, but often times has a more extensive education on the many issues with SFSTs than the officer.

The final definition of intoxication involves blood alcohol concentration.

Just because your breath or blood sample is alleged to be a .08 or over, does not mean you are automatically guilty of a DWI.

The state is required to prove each element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt and thus, the state must prove that the test result in your case is accurate and reliable beyond a reasonable doubt.

Hiring an experienced DWI attorney is important to help explain to a jury the multitude of problems commonly seen in breath and blood results. It is important that your attorney has a deep understanding of the instruments the police agency uses in breath test cases, as well as the science of gas chromatography and lab's standard operating procedures in blood test cases.

When your attorney can accurately explain these complex sciences in simple terms, juries often do not feel the state can prove the breath test or blood test was accurate or reliable beyond a reasonable doubt.

Understanding these issues and explaining them to a jury can be vital to your case. Contact Cannon Law today to start preparing your best legal defense in your case

Getting a DWI was out of character for me - I made a terrible decision the night I decided to drive. Alli discussed my case with me at length, and reassured me that everything was going to be okay. She is knowledgeable of the law, and a fierce fighter in court. You most definitely want this Cannon in your corner.

- Lance K.

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