Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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DUI Defenses: What if police claim you acted or appeared drunk?

In a California DUI case, prosecutors will bring forward as much evidence as they can to try and prove that you were drunk at the time of your arrest. Some of that evidence may relate to what police witnessed in your appearance and/or behavior at the time they pulled you over. For example, police might say that you had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes or could not walk in a straight line.

It is important to remember that having slurred speech or bloodshot eyes does not automatically mean that someone has been drinking. Here are some common defenses that those accused of DUI based on their appearance might use to counter this kind of witness testimony in court:

-- The driver might offer a valid explanation that illuminates why he or she appeared or was acting drunk. For example, a deaf person or a person with brain damage or a speech impediment might have a different way of talking that sounds slurred or drunken.

-- The driver might have failed a field sobriety test because of a mental or physical impairment that does not relate to alcohol use.

-- Bloodshot eyes might be explained by allergies, sleep deprivation or having dry contact lenses.

-- Slurred speech could result from sleep deprivation or certain prescribed medications being used.

-- Also, a driver might not have done well on a field sobriety test because he or she was confused by the officer's instructions.

California residents who have been pulled over and accused of DUI will have the ability to defend themselves against the charges. Indeed, any driver accused of DUI-related crimes will remain innocent of the charges until -- and only if -- he or she is found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

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