Proving Impairment in Prince George’s County DUIs
If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Prince George’s County, the following is what you need to know regarding what the prosecution needs to prove, and evidence they will typically present. For assistance in building a defense for these charges, call and schedule a consultation with a Prince George’s County DUI lawyer today.
Prosecutor’s Role in a DUI Case
Prosecutors need to prove that you were under the influence of alcohol or that you were driving while impaired. To do this, they will look at all the discoverable evidence that they have. The officer will testify that they had probable cause to stop your vehicle and that they, upon approach, had contact with you. Through this testimony, the prosecution needs to establish that the officer can identify you, had what is termed as reasonable, articulable suspicion through contact with you to call for a standard Field Sobriety Testing, and then had the right to take you into custody. The prosecution must establish that they obtained a valid breath test or blood test to which you submitted, or must explain that they did not obtain the testing. Next they will present the chemical evidence.
The prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest evidentiary standard. If the judge deems that the discoverable information included an invalid traffic stop or that the standard Field Sobriety Test was not administered properly, they may suppress the breath test as evidence, and therefore the State would not have all the elements necessary to prove their case. If the prosecution does not prove all the elements of the crime, then you can be found not guilty.
Typical Evidence Presented at DUI Case in Prince George’s County
The first evidence that is presented is to introduce and verify that the officer works in Prince George’s County and has the authority to enforce traffic laws. The prosecution will introduce evidence to establish that the officer stopped your vehicle in Prince George’s County and that you were driving. They will establish through testimonial evidence that the officer observed you driving in a way that violated the transportation law, and that they stopped you regarding that transportation law violation.
Next, they will provide evidence the officer made contact with you and suspected that you were under the influence of alcohol via bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, cognitive communication issues, failing to hand the officer your license, or something similar that created suspicion in the officer’s mind that you had been drinking alcohol. They will provide testimonial evidence that the officer asked you to step out of the vehicle, asked you to submit to Standard Field Sobriety testing and you either complied or you refused, they took you into custody with reasonable, articulable suspicion, and at that point you either submitted to or refused a breath test.