Traffic Violation Leading to Drunk Driving Charge
As part of the NHTSA training, officers are taught to be on the lookout for bad driving that may be a sign of impaired driving. If the officer observes a driver weaving or driving very slowly you can bet that the officer will testify to those facts at a DUI trial. Officers are trained to look for weaving, erratic braking, and not using a turn signal to name just a few of the signs of a possible impaired driver.
Why Does it Matter?
The officer’s observations are significant to a DUI charge for two vital reasons. First, the officer’s observations form the legal basis for the police officer stopping the car. If the officer did not have a valid legal basis to stop the car, then the evidence gathered after the stop should be suppressed (not allowed) and the case may be dismissed. Second, the prosecutor will use the officer’s observations of poor driving as evidence that your driving was impaired.
How Will the Prosecutor Use It?
Like it or not, the prosecutor will use the police officer’s observations of impaired driving to bias the jury that the driver endangered the lives of others on the road on the day/night in question. If the jury believes the driver was a danger, the jury is more likely to convict the suspect. While poor driving is not PROOF that the driver was impaired, it is another piece of evidence, like the field sobriety “tests”.
Overcoming the Officer’s Observations
The officer’s testimony regarding observed driving errors can be detrimental to your case and must be challenged. Based on the officer’s observations of poor driving, the prosecutor will try to convince the jury that the driver was under the influence. A Carmel DUI attorney will test the officer’s testimony regarding the observed driving by getting the officer to admit that these same indicators of impairment while driving are made by sober drivers every day and are NOT evidence of impairment. An experienced DUI lawyer will have the officer testify that he/she regularly write tickets for weaving, erratic breaking, and not using a turn signal to sober drivers.
We Can Help!
Telling Your Story
An effective DUI attorney will offer the jury realistic reasons for poor driving, not just that the driver was impaired. This will allow the jury to understand why the officer was wrong to believe you were impaired, biased against the driver, failed roadside “tests”, and/or made exaggerations in his incident report.
In addition to charging the driver with a DUI, police in Indiana normally add another traffic or criminal charge. Usually it is the reason for the initial traffic stop, like speeding or weaving, and the basis for probable cause.
The NHTSA SFST training includes over twenty (20) signs of impairment while driving. Well guess what. Speeding is not one of them. Why? Because speeding has nothing to do with alcohol impairment. If the case proceeds to a trial an effective DUI attorney will cross examine the arresting officer. In particular, the lawyer will ask the officer how many times he or she has ticketed a driver, and how many of those drivers were arrested for DUI. If the officer says that speeding is a clue of impaired driving, the DUI defense lawyer will use the officer’s own NHTSA SFST training manual against the officer. Because the manual is clear. Speeding is NOT a sign of impaired driving.
Weaving, by itself, is not evidence of an impaired driver. While weaving is a commonly cited in DUI arrests, there are a multitude of reasons that a driver may not drive in a straight line. Answering a cell phone, an uneven road, or even mechanical issues are just a few examples. Just watch your hands on the wheel the next time you are driving.
The lawyers of Emerson Law have over 20 years of combined experience and are prepared to assist you in your DUI defense. Our attorneys offer criminal defense for all felony DUI and misdemeanor DUI charges.
We accept cases from Carmel City Court, Hamilton County Court, Boone County, Marion County, Hendricks County and throughout Indiana.
LEARN MORE ABOUT INDIANA DRUNK DRIVING LAWS
- Right to Remain Silent
- Incriminating Statements
- DUI Evidence
- DUI Blood Alcohol Content
- DUI Breath Tests
- Field Sobriety Tests In Indiana
- DUI and Traffic Violations
INDIANA DUI LAWYERS FAQ'S
- What Is a DUI a felony?
- Will I have to serve jail time for my DUI / DWI?
- How long will a DUI / DWI stay on my record, counting as a prior offense?
- If I'm pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, when must the police officer give me a breathalyzer or blood test?
- Can I get out of my DUI / DWI by plea bargaining for a wet reckless?
- After my DUI / DWI conviction, will I be required to install an IID?
- Will I lose my license for a DUI?
RESOURCES FOR THOSE CHARGED WITH DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
- Official Charged with DUI
- IC 12-23-14 Court Established Alcohol & Drug Services Program
- IC 12-7-2 Definitions
- IC 33-37-8 Local User Fee Funds
- Court Alcohol & Drug Program Rules
- Indiana Statutes related to Confidentiality and Reporting
- Federal Rules: 42 C.F.R Part 2 - Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records
- Court Alcohol & Drug Program Advisory Committee
- Program Directory
- NHTSA Impaired Driving
- Judge Resigns After DUI
- Woman charged with DUI in crash
- DAk Prescott DUI Arrest
- Drunk Driving Laws Don't Match Research
- Supreme Court decision will not impact Indiana DUI tests
JR Emerson is a Carmel, Indiana DUI attorney representing individuals charged with dui, driving under the influence, OVWI, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, OWI, operating while intoxicated. Our DUI lawyers represent men and women in Hamilton County, and throughout Indiana. Cities in which we practice include: Carmel, Noblesville, Fishers, Zionsville, Lebanon, Whitestown, West Clay, Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, Greenwood, Southport, Franklin, Plainfield, Avon and Danville, Indiana.
The State must prove it's case beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney's job is to challenge the State's evidence. Learn how an attorney can help with the use of Subpoena's and Depositions.
Whether you are contemplating divorce, or been arrested or injured you are probably scared, unsure what will come next and what to do. Give me a call. We will sit down, go over your options and work to find a way to move forward. Call me or another attorney. But call someone and get the help you deserve.
- JR Emerson, Attorney
I am here to help. I am not here to judge. For nearly 20 years I have been helping people in difficult situations and I would be happy to speak with you to see how I might be able to help you too.
- Jill Bracken-Emerson, Attorney
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Our office is located on the north side of Indianapolis at 98th Street and Keystone Avenue.
3091 E. 98th Street, Suite 180
Indianapolis, IN 46280
Our attorneys represent people in need of assistance with personal injuries, car accidents, divorce, family law and DUI/OVWI matters. Our clients typically live in counties throughout central Indiana including, Hamilton County, Boone County, Marion County, Hendricks County and Johnson County. Please contact our office to learn how we can help.
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JR Emerson is an attorney who represents men and women in family law matters including divorce, child custody modification, and child support modification in Marion County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Hamilton County, Hancock County, Madison County, Johnson County. Cities in which he practices include: Zionsville, Lebanon, Whitestown, Carmel, West Clay, Westfield, Noblesville, Fishers, Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, Greenwood, Southport, Franklin, Plainfield, Avon and Danville, Indiana.