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Warren County DUI Attorney

Warren County DUI Attorney

As recently as the early 1990s, DUI was little more than a serious traffic ticket. The laws were sporadically enforced, and even if the case went to court, consequences were rather light. Then, the DUI crackdown began. Today’s laws are very tough, especially in Ohio. Once peace officers pull over a DUI suspect, an arrest is practically inevitable.

Because of all this, some lawyers quickly plead out these cases. The aggressive Warren County DUI attorneys at the Comunale Law Office never back down from a fight. Instead, we take a comprehensive approach to your defense. We find the weak spots in the state’s case and exploit them. If a lawyer can show reasonable doubt on even one point, the defendant is not guilty as a matter of law.

The ALR Hearing

Many defendants, as well as many Warren County DUI attorneys, overlook the Administrative License Revocation hearing. At this hearing, if an administrative law judge determines officers had probable cause, the ALJ can suspend the defendant’s drivers’ license.

Probable cause is a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, the state must produce solid evidence of intoxication, such as a poor performance on the field sobriety tests. Anything less might not be enough. A no-probable-cause verdict at an ALR hearing usually means prosecutors will dismiss the case.

Even if the defendant loses this hearing, the defendant still wins. At the ALR hearing, a Warren County DUI attorney can cross-examine the officer under oath. If the officer’s subsequent testimony is inconsistent, even on a minor detail, an attorney can use that discrepancy to undermine the officer’s credibility. With public opinion of police officers at such a low level, officer credibility is already thin.

Challenging the Field Sobriety Tests

At both the ALR hearing and at trial, the three approved field sobriety tests are critical. At a minimum, and as mentioned, they establish probable cause for the arrest. Additionally, if the defendant does not provide a chemical sample, the prosecutor normally uses the FSTs to prove guilt. That is why the conviction rate in non-test cases is much lower than the conviction rate in test cases.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has approved three FSTs for use in court. They are:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (DUI eye test),
  • Walk and Turn (heel to toe walk), and
  • One-Leg Stand.

Officers always testify that defendants “failed” these tests, even if it is on a technicality, like taking the wrong number of steps in the WAT. But the jurors also have a say as to whether the defendant failed the tests. Their opinion is the only one that counts. So, a Warren County DUI attorney must have a sound strategy for undermining the FSTs.

Beating the Breathalyzer

Defendants who provided a breath sample are not automatically guilty. These machines are technologically similar to a 1940s Drunk-O-Meter. As such, the breathalyzer has a number of possible flaws, such as:

  • Lack of Calibration: These devices can be quite complicated to use, and the officer must have the proper training to make sure he or she is using and calibrating the machine correctly. If the device is not calibrated properly, the results will not be accurate.
  • Mouth Alcohol: If the person blowing into a Breathalyzer burped or vomited in the 15 minutes prior to taking the test, ethanol particles from the stomach can linger in his or her mouth and might skew the BAC results.
  • Ketone Levels: Diabetics, smokers, and other individuals have naturally elevated ketone levels in their bodies. Breathalyzers register these particles as ethanol, which can cause the BAC estimate to be inaccurate.

The prosecutor has the burden of proof to show that the BAC level was accurate.

Contact a Hard-Hitting Attorney

The harsh consequences of a DUI demand that you have the best lawyer possible. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dayton, contact the Comunale Law Office. We routinely handle matters in Warren County and nearby jurisdictions.

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If you have been charged with a crime in the Dayton area, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. The attorneys at Comunale Law Office fight to defend the rights of our clients. We have built our reputation on getting results.

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