Facing the possibility of punishment due to accusations of driving under the influence can cause anyone to feel a sense of panic. This type of situation may arise more easily than expected, and even if you do not feel impaired, police could still take you into custody depending on other circumstances of a traffic stop. If such a situation comes about, understanding certain aspects of the traffic stop could help you build a defense.
You likely know that officers often utilize sobriety and chemical tests to determine a person's alleged level of intoxication. However, you may have a lesser understanding of per se laws relating to DUI charges and blood-alcohol concentration.
Per se DUI
Per se DUI laws relate to the level of blood-alcohol concentration that could result in authorities considering you intoxicated without also considering other factors. In all states, the per se law regarding DUI indicates that when a BAC level reaches a point of .08 percent, a police officer could consider you intoxicated. This information often goes into evidence when addressing the charges in criminal court.
Additionally, if a person has not yet reached the age of 21, they may face zero tolerance policies. This means that if that individual shows a blood-alcohol concentration of any level, he or she could face criminal charges. Often, this type of situation results in a suspended or revoked license.
Defending against charges
Though per se laws may make it easier for police to charge you with DUI, these laws do not ensure a conviction. When facing charges for any type of alleged criminal activity, you have the right to defend against the allegations. Having DUI charges brought against you is no different. Therefore, you may wish to consider the various ways in which you could create a meaningful defense even with BAC levels being used as evidence.
Some potential aspects to consider when creating a defense include:
- Challenging the validity of the test results
- Challenging the accuracy of the testing machines
- Challenging whether authorities followed the correct procedures to administer the tests
- Explaining extenuating circumstances relating to your situation
Understanding how per se laws could affect your case and exploring your defense options could help you feel more confident as you approach your legal proceedings. You may also want to ensure that you gain reliable information by utilizing local Texas legal resources.