Once upon a time driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated was a generally accepted behavior. The laws in many rural areas were lax and generally written, allowing judges the latitude to amend the charges in a properly presented case.
In the past twenty years, after countless deaths due to this practice, all of the state legislatures have focused on enhancing the penalties for the crime. Given the circumstance, a DUI-DWI attorney may not be able to help on a given case. The laws are written to empower the officer’s statement in court, based on breath analysis for alcohol intoxication. The incarceration times are standard minimums and allow for a stricter punishment in aggravated cases.
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers has implemented a very successful plan in putting pressure on the state governments to punish offenders in a more significant manner as a deterent to the crime. The legal position of “no harm no foul’ was no longer acceptable. When harm did occur it was too extensive and needless. The social norms and even the attitude toward alcoholism shifted during this time from tolerance to intervention, with a combination of punishment and court-ordered medical treatment.
There are, however, times when the need for a DUI-DWI lawyer can arise. One situation is when an officer requires a disabled individual to take a blood test in lieu of a breath analysis after being stopped for a potential DUI. The driver may be under a doctor’s care and legally have traces of controlled substances in their system. Whether or not this individual is “under the influence” is arguable and much of the prosecution depends on the interpretation of the law by the prosecutor.
These cases where culpability is a mitigating circumstance are very often settled in a trial and a DUI-DWI lawyer will be an absolute necessity. Any defendant needs an experienced and professional DUI-DWI attorney to present the case is a manner that allows the defendant a fair trial for a charge that is normally an automatic conviction because of the structure of the applicable statute.
Impaired driving cases can be complicated when it is in association with a traffic accident. Anytime an individual is facing a significant criminal charge in addition to the driving charge, retaining a DUI-DWI attorney is essential just as well. There are specific punishment guidelines for different levels of conviction and a defense attorney is necessary, even if by appointment.
These cases are not like those that involve alcohol, where the impairment is in a discreet time frame. Normally these medications are administered on a daily basis and have a half-life residual in the bloodstream, some lasting for significant periods of time. A blood analysis can show more detail.
This can also be problematic for the individual who gets a citation and refuses the blood test because of controlled substances that can’t legally be in their body. This usually carries an automatic driver’s license suspension for refusal to submit. And there also are cases where these issues include multiple contolled substances, with some being prescribed and others, like marijuana, that may not.