Knowing what drunk driving charges are based on can help accused individuals better defend against the charges they must deal with. Drunk driving defenses are particularly important because of the serious potential consequences and penalties facing individuals who have been accused of driving under the influence.

Drunk driving charges can carry stiff penalties including time in jail away from the accused individual’s family, steep fines, the requirement to attend drug or alcohol education classes and a criminal record, in addition to other potential penalties and consequences. Knowing how authorities bring drunk driving charges and what they base DUI charges on is important for accused individuals to be familiar with so they can defend themselves against the charges they are facing.

Authorities typically identify alleged drunk drivers in several different ways. The first way that a police officer might allege a driver is driving under the influence is if they allegedly observe erratic driving behavior including swerving, speeding, driving under the speed limit, failing to stop or failing to yield, among other alleged erratic behaviors. Additionally, authorities may conduct field sobriety tests and based on the results of those tests, allege that the driver was driving drunk. Lastly, authorities may order a breath, urine or blood test and based on the results of any of those, allege that the driver was driving under the influence.

It is important that a traffic stop is validly conducted and that authorities follow the necessary steps to ensure the rights of the accused individual are protected. If authorities failed to do so, it may impact the accused individual’s criminal defense strategy. A strong criminal defense strategy can both help mitigate the charges the accused individual is facing and the potential penalties and consequences the accused individual is facing which is why it is critical to understand how to approach a drunk driving charge.