Being arrested for a DUI in New Hampshire can carry heavy consequences. Experienced DWI lawyers know there are many different defenses that may be used to defend a client charged with an NH DUI or DWI.
Drunk driving accidents are dangerous and threaten the safety of other motorists on the road, as well as the driver. For this reason, New Hampshire law enforcement officers are trained to look for any and all signs that a person may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, regardless of how subtle. Sometimes, NH law enforcement officers are so committed to keeping drunk drivers off the road, that they've determined guilt before they even walk up to the person's car. Not following correct procedure, using outdated or un-calibrated equipment to determine blood alcohol concentration, and not considering other reasons for allegedly impaired behavior may all contribute to a New Hampshire DUI arrest, when it is not in fact a DUI.
If you have been arrested for a DWI in New Hampshire, one of the first things the prosecution will attempt to present against you is your driving pattern. This usually involves the DWI arresting officer testifying that you were speeding, drifting into other lanes, weaving, or driving in such a manner consistent with someone under the influence of alcohol. This is not the whole story, however.
An experienced NH DWI lawyer would rebut this argument by examining the officer on what you did right. Driving safely and lawfully 98 percent of the time and seemingly erratically 2 percent of the time does not mean that you are driving under the influence. If you make an unsafe maneuver, it is not impaired driving, but a simple traffic violation. Most traffic violations are, in fact, committed by people who are sober.
When a law enforcement officer pulls a person over for a traffic violation and notices red eyes, flushed face, slurred speech, poor balance, or the smell of alcohol on their breath, the usual assumption is that these signs indicate impairment by alcohol or drugs. Those physical reactions can be caused by a number of factors, only one of which is alcohol or drug impairment. Recent physical exertion, excessive sun exposure, fatigue, and allergies are a few reasons for exhibiting "impaired" symptoms. Even embarrassment and anxiety can manifest in unsteadiness, flushed face, and fidgeting. A knowledgeable New Hampshire DUI attorney will address all explanations of a person's physical appearance, and, as one beer can produce the smell of alcohol on one's breath, the scent of alcohol is not a reliable means for determining impairment.
A law enforcement officer in NH must comply with various rules and regulations in conducting DUI stops and tests. Officer certification and calibrated equipment are necessary for conducting accurate tests. If an officer does not administer field sobriety tests properly, or only focuses on the 5 percent that you performed poorly rather than the 95 percent you performed well, the tests are inconclusive.
Also, if an officer does not astutely observe you for the mandated 20-minute observation period prior to a breath test, then their testimony would be considered inconclusive at best. Furthermore, if your breath and/or blood tests were not handled or stored properly, your BAC may be faulty and thus, inadmissible.
Driving while intoxicated or influenced by drugs is a very serious crime in New Hampshire and throughout the country. At the New Hampshire criminal defense law firm Tenn And Tenn, P.A., our knowledgeable Manchester drunk driving defense lawyers can help you fight your DWI or DUI arrest. Contact us today for a free telephone consultation at 603-624-3700 or on our NH DWI Helpline at 1-888-511-1010.