One of the most common reasons why you might be pulled over and suspected of having committed an Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) charge is if you were engaged in bad driving. However, bad driving does not automatically mean that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol.
The arresting officer might argue that you were driving in a manner that is consistent with an individual under the influence of alcohol. However, there are other possible reasons why you might have been driving poorly. For example, your windows might have fogged up and you may have been struggling to see. You might be able to effectively dispute the claim that you were not driving safely. For example, you might have witness testimony or surveillance footage that shows your driving was reasonable given the situation and that it was not an indication that you were committing an OVI.
Bad Driving Doesn't Always Indicate Intoxication
Most traffic violations are committed by individuals who are sober. Therefore, the arresting officer will need more evidence to arrest you such as a failed breathalyzer test or a failed field sobriety test.
Physical Signs of Intoxication
Besides looking at how you were driving, the arresting officer might look at physical signs that you are intoxicated. For example, they might try to determine if you have bloodshot eyes, an unsteady gait, or slurred speech, this could be used as evidence that you were intoxicated while operating your vehicle. However, many of these conditions are associated with other symptoms such as allergies, a cold, or fatigue. Therefore, the prosecutor will likely need more evidence to prove that you were driving while under the influence and your OVI attorney may be able to help you have your charges dismissed or reduced.
The Smell of Alcohol
A common mistake that an officer makes is to assume that smelling strongly of alcohol is a sign that you were drinking and driving. However, when an individual smells alcohol, what they are really smelling is the scent of hops or malt that is found in beer. Therefore, there might be another reason why you smell of alcohol and you may be able to cast doubt on the officer's claims.
Why You Must Beat Your OVI Charges
Fighting your OVI charges is essential because an OVI charge can have a devastating impact on your life. You may not only face criminal penalties but might also lose your right to operate a vehicle.
For more information, contact an OVI defense attorney.