A traffic stop can be a stressful experience regardless of when it happens. However, it can be even more stressful if a Louisiana police officer believes that you are under the influence of alcohol. Even if you are eventually cleared of the charge, it’s possible that you’ll be taken into custody and forced to spend time in jail.
Did an officer have grounds to initiate a traffic stop?
In most cases, DWI charges stem from what an officer observes before and during a traffic stop. For example, the stop may have been initiated because you were driving late at night near a popular local bar. However, that in itself is not enough to pull your vehicle over, as there must be reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed. If a traffic stop is invalid, any evidence collected during the stop such as the presence of an open container would likely be suppressed.
Was a breath test administered correctly?
If a Breathalyzer test is not performed properly, it may be thrown out during your trial. The same may be true if a blood or urine test is not performed in a timely manner or if there are questions about how it was handled by authorities. You may also be able to assert that the test was not performed by someone sufficiently trained to do so.
Was there a reason to suspect that you were impaired?
There needs to be probable cause to take you into custody. For instance, an officer may justify doing so in your case by pointing to the fact that you had bloodshot eyes or slurred speech. However, without such evidence, you can assert that there was no probable cause to charge you with DWI or any other crime.
A DWI conviction could result in jail time, a fine or the loss of a professional license. It’s also possible that you won’t be able to go to school or find adequate housing in your area. However, having evidence suppressed in your case may result in a DWI charge being reduced or dismissed.