How is a DUI proved in court?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

During the traffic stop, police may conduct a field sobriety test and eventually charge an individual with a DUI or a DWI.

Even so, to escalate from criminal charges to a conviction, the prosecution has to prove that the individual was driving drunk. How exactly do they prove this and potentially obtain a conviction? As in most cases, evidence is the key.

What kind of evidence is needed?

In a DUI case, there are several types of evidence that prosecutors may bring up in court. These often include:

  • Testimony from police officers and their observations from the stop
  • Details from the police report and dashcam footage
  • Results from the field sobriety test
  • Results from the breath test, blood test and other chemical tests

In the most general terms, the prosecution must prove that an individual was impaired and that they were in control of a vehicle. The evidence listed above is what they will use to prove these two factors.

Is it possible to suppress evidence?

Fighting DUI charges often means challenging the evidence presented. But many people might wonder how it is possible to do so.

It is critical to look into how police obtained evidence. Many times, it can begin with the traffic stop itself. North Carolina police must follow specific procedures and rules in a traffic stop as well as after an arrest. A misstep in any of these procedures could result in evidence being inadmissible.

For example, one of the primary things to consider is that police can only pull someone over in the first place if they have probable cause. This could include:

  • Erratic behavior, such as driving too slowly or swerving
  • Traffic violations, such as driving through a red light

If there was no reason or probable cause for the traffic stop, then evidence gathered after the fact could be invalid.

It also helps to consider the factors that could affect the results of breath tests. Certain foods, drinks or medications could lead to a false positive in alcohol breath tests.

Investigating all of the details of the situation and the evidence gathered is critical to determine if the police followed proper procedure. Questioning every step can help protect an individual’s rights.