Fans of the Michigan Wolverines, Detroit Lions and teams may enjoy football season by having a few drinks. It is very common for people to consume alcohol when they are watching football, with ABC reporting one in 12 fans leave football stadiums such as Ford Field legally drunk and a Department of Transportation report indicating 45 percent of fans watching games consume at least three alcoholic beverages.
While you may not realize you are having too much to drink as you enjoy the game, consuming multiple alcoholic beverages while watching football can push your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit of .08. If this happens to you and you are forced to submit to a test of your BAC when driving home from the game, you need to explore options for effective OWI defense.
Is OWI Defense Possible When Your BAC Is Above .08?
If your BAC is above .08, you can be arrested for operating while impaired and the prosecutor can present evidence of the chemical test you took in order to try to secure a conviction. Whether you took a breath test, a blood test, or a urine test, a prosecutor is going to try to use the results to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were too impaired to operate your vehicle.
Your OWI defense should center around either making it impossible for the prosecutor to use the test or discrediting the test. If the test was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment because police pulled you over without just cause or there was no reasonable suspicion of impairment, the evidence should be suppressed. Even if this does not happen, you can raise doubts about whether the test was actually accurate.
Many people assume if there is forensic evidence, like a BAC test, that it will be hard for them to defend against criminal charges. While it is true juries give a lot of weight to forensic evidence, there are also lots of mistakes made with testing.
ABC News recently reported on many impaired driving convictions which are being jeopardized in light of increasing evidence of serious problems at one state crime lab. The state crime lab had conducted an internal audit, which revealed problems with its testing methods and test handling procedures. Outside investigators found many issues, including samples being improperly disposed of, samples being handled improperly, and samples and test results being mixed up.
The initial problems with the crime lab were brought to light by attorneys defending someone who had been accused of causing an accident while impaired. The defendant's BAC test had shown the driver was over-the-limit. However, because of the internal audits from the crime lab highlighting the problems, the prosecutor didn't use the test results and it took just one day for the jury to find the defendant not guilty of charges which had carried a possible 15 year prison term.
Often, it takes a legal professional to uncover problems with forensic evidence and to bring those problems to light. When establishing your OWI defense, your lawyer will explore all possible arguments to make to suppress evidence or to call the veracity of evidence into question.