Being involved in a wreck and getting charged with driving under the influence (DUI) are both serious issues. If the two have come together, you might have the perfect storm of legal matters. Being charged with DUI in connection to an auto accident can elevate your charges to an enhanced level and cause you to suffer more punishment than a normal DUI.
DUI Charges and Accidents
The blood alcohol concentration in all states is set at .08% on the breathalyzer device. If you were in an accident, law enforcement could have reasonable cause to test you for impairment. Reasonable cause might mean the odor of alcohol on the breath, alcohol containers present at the accident scene, or other obvious signs of impairment. You may be administered field sobriety tests on the spot unless you are too injured to perform them. If you are sent to a medical facility, law enforcement could obtain a subpoena to have your body fluids tested for the presence of alcohol or drugs. For those found to be impaired at the time of the accident, your misdemeanor DUI charge could be enhanced to a felony-level offense.
Accidents connected to a DUI conviction fall into a category that calls for a greater level of punishment. The below options are some forms of punishment that could be in the works for your case:
- Suspension of your driver's license
- Victim restitution costs
- Ignition interlock device placement
You Need Legal Help
This is no time to go it alone. A lot is riding on the way you proceed and you must fight against the DUI charges. Not all DUI roadside sobriety testing is accurate and can be challenged by a DUI defense lawyer. Here are some other things a criminal defense lawyer can do for you:
- Disprove the results of the breathalyzer by questioning the officer's certification, the breathalyzer's recent calibration record, and more.
- Dispute the result of any field sobriety tests that may be inaccurate given your recent accident, previous physical issues, or neurological problems.
- Dispute fault of the accident. Just because you were arrested for DUI doesn't automatically mean the other driver was not at fault for the accident.
You don't have to accept the charges and enter into a plea bargain that has you pleading guilty to something you didn't do. This is especially true if the state cannot prove it. Contact a criminal lawyer for help with the above issues and more.