3 possible defenses to an OWI charge

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | DUI

Operating while intoxicated (OWI) is the charge you will face if the police arrest you on suspicion of drunk driving. If you test over 0.08% for blood alcohol content on the police breathalyzer then the charge will be automatic.

The officers could still charge you with an OWI even if you blow under 08% but they have other evidence to back up their belief that the alcohol was affecting your driving – such as having seen you weaving across the lanes.

Whether you agree with the officers or not, you cannot just accept their decision. Once they have arrested you, you should focus on learning about your defense options. Here are three to consider:

1. The officers had no reason to stop you

If the police pull you over they must show they had a reason to do so. They must have had reasonable suspicion that you broke the law. Driving in a manner that suggests you were drunk would be sufficient reason. But so would something like a missing license plate or faulty headlight. If you believe they had no reason, it could throw the whole stop into jeopardy.

2. The officers did not administer tests properly

Did the police arrest you after you failed a field sobriety test? Did they use non-standard ones or fail to tell you what you had to do clearly?

3. The breathalyzer reading was wrong

Breathalyzers can be wrong. If you are certain you did not drink enough to be at the blood alcohol content level the machine said you were, then it might be the machine was poorly calibrated. Or it might be that something else affected the reading.

There are ways to fight OWI charges and while you won’t always succeed, they are definitely worth considering, as the consequences of a conviction can be harsh.