In Indiana, drunk driving offenses aren’t called driving under the influence (DUI) but rather operating while intoxicated (OWI). While the name may be different, the rules for drivers remain largely the same.
Penalties for impaired driving charges usually include potential jail time, fines and license suspension. All of that is true for an OWI in Indiana. Thankfully, you don’t just have to accept all of those consequences if you wind up charged with an OWI offense. You have the right to defend yourself, and perhaps one of the three strategies below might help you beat your pending charges.
Challenge the chemical evidence against you
Chemical breath tests have proven less reliable than the public and law enforcement officers long thought them to be. From the risk of compounds other than alcohol triggering a false positive to calibration issues skewing the results to make someone look dangerously drunk, there are many ways for chemical breath tests to fail. You may be able to challenge the test based on a number of different factors.
Mount a medical defense for behavior and failed chemical tests
There are actually multiple medical conditions that could lead to a false positive on a breath test. From rare conditions that result in your gut bacteria producing alcohol to specialized diets and untreated diabetes, there could be a feasible medical explanation that explains why you failed a chemical breath test.
In some cases, the medical condition that affected the breath test might also have altered the officer’s perception of your behavior or speech during the traffic stop.
Challenging the officer pulling you over in the first place
In order to determine that you were under the influence, an officer first has to have reason to interact with you. If you can successfully challenge the initial traffic stop, that could affect the charges against you as well.
Looking closely at the evidence against you and the situation that led to your pending OWI charges with an experienced attorney can improve your chances of prevailing.