The Law Office Of Caroline Norman Frost | Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney
Nation's Premier NACDA Top Ten Ranking 2023

Maryland’s Most Zealous Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney

2 questions you should ask if you’re charged with drunk driving

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2022 | Drunk Driving Charges

If you are arrested for drunk driving, you will have plenty of time to reflect and you will most likely start worrying about the possible consequences. Instead of worrying, you need to come up with a plan. Meet with an attorney to prepare for your trial date.

How you might beat the charge:

1. Why did the police stop you in the first place?

Police cannot just stop you for any reason. There must be probable cause to pull you over. Examples of reasons for legal stops include speeding, running a red light, driving over the yellow center line, tail-light out, expired tags etc. 

If the officer does not have a valid reason to pull you over, then the rest of the facts in their report after the stop should be suppressed.  With the suppression of evidence obtained after the stop, it could be very hard or impossible for the state to prove a drunk driving charge against you. Evidence that led to your arrest for drunk driving may include the odor of alcohol coming from your breath, slurred speech, red shot eyes, glassy eyes, clues from your performance on the Standardized Field Sobriety Test, Blood Alcohol Content etc.  If the stop is not valid, then the rest of the evidence after the stop should not be heard by the court.

You should speak with Caroline Norman Frost so that she can review your case and determine whether or not the police had a valid reason to pull you over.  Questioning whether or not the traffic stop was valid in the first place is a viable defense strategy. If the stop wasn’t legal, neither is any evidence of a crime gained from that stop.

2. Could any external factors have caused you to fail the police tests?

The police may have asked you to perform a series of field sobriety tests, such as following their finger or light with your eyes from left to right with your head still (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, also known as HGN).  Or, standing on one leg for a series of seconds (One Leg Stand Test). Or, walking in a straight line and turning exactly as directed by the officer (Walk and Turn Test). There are numerous defenses that might be applicable to your performance on the Standardized Field Sobriety Test. For example, for the HGN test, if you have any issues with your eyes, it might explain why you could not follow their finger. If you have a leg injury or an inner ear problem that affects your balance, it might explain why you could not stand on one leg long enough to pass the One Leg Stand Test, or to perform well on the Walk and Turn Test.

External factors such as medication can also cause you to fail tests or appear as if you were drunk when you were not. It’s important to discuss these possibilities with your counsel so that you have a well-informed approach to your defense.

Constructing an effective defense argument to fight a DUI charge requires experienced legal help. The sooner you get it, the better.