Bowden Law, PLLC
OWI Defense Strategies
Macomb County OWI Attorney
If you have been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, it is either the result of your serious misfortune at being wrongfully accused, or perhaps you made a major mistake that has the potential to threaten your future. In either case, there is one thing you must not do: give up hope of being able to beat the charges. Many people in your situation do exactly that. They assume that because they failed a breath or blood test, fell down while performing the roadside sobriety tests or maybe even admitted to the police officer that they were drinking, they now have no chance of avoiding a conviction. While it may be true that there is evidence that seems to indicate that you are guilty of drinking and driving, what is not true is that you are doomed to be convicted.
There are many ways to successfully attack charges of OWI, and by doing so you may be able to clear your name, whether through an acquittal or dismissal of the case. For example, you may have been the victim of an illegal traffic stop. This occurs when a police officer pulls a driver over to investigate for drunk driving without having probable cause to suspect that a crime was being committed. The officer must have noticed evidence of impaired driving or must have initiated the stop based on a traffic violation. If he or she cannot demonstrate probable cause, the charges could be thrown out based on the fact that the evidence in the case was obtained by violating your constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.
Did You Fail an OWI Field Sobriety Test?
Many OWI arrests are based on the fact that the suspect failed one of the standardized field sobriety tests, which include the One-Leg Stand, the Walk-and-Turn and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. These tests may be standardized, but they are anything but scientific and foolproof. In fact, many people consider that they are designed to fail, given that the suspect's success is largely dependent on the opinion and expectation of the officer. If the footage from the police car dashboard video camera reveals that the officer made errors in administering the tests, or that you actually did not fail, this evidence could be invalidated.
Challenging Chemical Test Evidence in OWI Cases
Even if you took a breath or blood test and were caught with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit of .08 percent, there is still a very good chance that you could beat the charges. The breathalyzer test does not determine whether you have illegal levels of alcohol in your bloodstream; it only analyzes your breath sample for alcohol. For this reason, it sometimes registers a false positive based on the fact that there was residual alcohol in the suspect's mouth, or even due to physiological conditions such as acid reflux or diabetes.
Further, the testing equipment may have been improperly maintained and out of calibration, a fact which could entirely invalidate the test results. If there are any gaps in the documentation of the blood sample's chain of custody, this fact may be used to raise reasonable doubts about whether the sample is yours, while it has also been demonstrated in some cases that contamination of the sample has caused fermentation – and therefore the presence of alcohol – within the sample.
Take Action to Defend Against Your OWI Charges
These are only a few of the most common strategies for defending against OWI charges, but they all depend on you taking action now. Contact me, Attorney James T. Bowden, for a free confidential consultation and to learn more about how you can benefit from hiring me as your Macomb County OWI lawyer!