Three Things That May Lead To A Mistaken DWI Charge
Do you know that there are things that may make you fail sobriety tests even if you aren't drunk? That means you can be charged with driving under the influence (DWI) even if you aren't intoxicated. Here are three examples of such things:
If your mouth has high alcohol content, then the breathalyzer can give a higher rating than the actual alcohol content in your blood. This is why the officer administering the test should observe you for a few minutes first. He or she need to ensure that you don't have anything in your mouth that can raise your mouth alcohol level.
Examples of things that can raise your mouth alcohol level include medicines such as cough syrup, mouthwash, and mouth spray, among others. Even the act of burping or vomiting can raise your mouth alcohol levels, since they bring your stomach alcohol to your mouth.
This may not be a problem if you are drunk because your actual alcohol level and mouth alcohol level won't be that much differenct. However, it can be a serious issue if you aren't intoxicated, for example if you only took one drink of wine with your last meal.
Apart from the breathalyzer, other tests that police officers use to determine whether or not you are drunk are the field sobriety tests. These tests seek to gauge your level of balance, attention and physical ability. They include walking in a straight line, standing on one leg and maintaining a steady gaze. The basis of these tests is that alcohol makes you lose your focus and balance, and you won't perform them well if you are drunk.
As you can suspect, alcohol is not the only thing that can interfere with your attention or physical balance. Therefore, any of these things can make you seem drunker than you really are. For example, it can be difficult to stand on one leg if you are wearing high heels, tired or extremely nervous (for example if you are facing your first field sobriety test).
The third test that police officers use to screen intoxicated motorists is observation. They will just observe you for physical signs of intoxication. For example, you may be deemed as intoxicated if your eyes are red, you have slurred speech and have an unsteady gait.
Again, there are other things that can create these symptoms. In fact, many diseases such as the common cold and allergies can make your eyes watery and red, but this doesn't mean that you are drunk.
As you can see, these tests aren't infallible, and you can easily be mistaken as drunk even if you are sober. Therefore, you should always contact a lawyer if you feel that your DWI charge is hinged on a flawed test. For more information, contact Brian Walker Law Firm, PC or a similar firm.