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Drunk driving charges may be defended

As Missouri residents know, drunk driving is a serious charge that may result in penalties, fines and possibly impact on an individual's right to drive a vehicle. It can also in some cases impose a barrier on obtaining future employment. While state laws vary, it is possible to defend against a drunk driving charge in a variety of ways.

There are various methods in which a drunk driving charge may be defended in court. The defense may target the use of improperly administered roadside tests. Field sobriety examinations including the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which is based on eye movements, may be challenged due to administration issues as well as problems with interpretation. Stopping a motor vehicle should be based on a police officer's observation of a traffic infraction by the driver or his or her visualization of reckless driving that may pose a danger to others. Stopping a vehicle without probable cause may give rise to that common form of defense.

A Breathalyzer test reflects the amount of alcohol consumed by the driver within a specific time frame. Proper training in administration of a Breathalyzer test is important as well as maintenance and calibration of the portable unit. If a driver has a medical condition such as diabetes the results may be compromised. In addition, a Breathalyzer test must be administered in a timely fashion since the results are meant to reflect the BAC level when the driver was operating the vehicle. Delayed testing might result in a false reading.

When a driver is charged with driving while intoxicated, it may be prudent to consult with a criminal defense attorney who can examine police reports of the incident and help to determine if mistakes were made. The attorney might then challenge the charges in court or structure a plea agreement to lower charges and penalties.

Source: FindLaw, "Defenses to Drunk Driving", accessed on Feb. 5, 2015

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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