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Do Most DUI Cases Go To Trial?


How Often Do DUI Cases Actually End Up At Trial?

Only about ten percent of the DUI cases actually go to trial.

Do Most DUI Attorneys Try To Avoid Going To Trial For DUI Cases?

Once the evidence is reviewed and if it is a slam-dunk for the state, there is no sense going to trial unless you are absolutely backed into a corner. When talking about a slam-dunk, if the person blows below a 0.17 in the breathalyzer, after looking at all the discovery, seeing that the protocol was filed, and the machine has been verified that it was accurate, then the state only has to put in three things; 1) the person was driving; 2) they took the test, and; 3) the machine was working and registered over. In that case, there is an automatic presumption that the person is intoxicated.

That is called the per se violation. That does not mean that it is not rebuttable. You could have a four hundred pound lineman that blows at 0.08%; a judge could still find him not guilty because it is a rebuttable presumption. A BAC of 0.08 % will affect a seventy pound gymnast a lot more than a four hundred pound lineman. However, it depends on the person’s ability to deal with alcohol and how long they have been drinking and other factors. It comes down to the same standard on any DUI trial, that the amount of alcohol that has been consumed affected their ability or impaired their ability to the extent where they cannot do normal things.

When you have a breathalyzer test and you got a per se violation and you are double the limit, it does not make any sense to go to trial. If you do, then you are going to piss off the judge when it comes to sentencing. He is going to be like, “You wasted my day on a 17 blow, you know you were drinking, everyone knows you’re drinking, why are you trying to tell me you weren’t drinking? You’re denying you did something wrong.” They like to hear that you are coming with your tail between your legs and you are apologetic and you know you made a mistake and you want to do the right thing. They do not want to hear that I am going to see if I can slip a fast one, but why waste everybody’s time.

If you go to trial and you waste the judge’s time and he really believes you have wasted his time, they will hit you harder when it comes to sentencing. They will never say that, but that is what will happen. There are a lot of things to go into whether there should be a trial or not.

Most of the ones that go to trial are either that or blows under 0.08. That is because any amount of alcohol in your system, if it is impairing your ability to do normal things, can be the basis of a DUI. If you could convince a judge, jury or a prosecutor, that even though the person had one drink, they were so affected from that one drink that you can still be found guilty of a DUI after one drink. So, you have to be careful in all those situations. That is another reason why you really do not want to talk to the police as much as you can.

You need to avoid talking to the police because the minute you say, “Well, I just had two drinks,” you have admitted you have been drinking alcohol. It could have been you were drinking something which smells and looks just like beer but it does not have the alcoholic content. Usually, it is the refusal cases that go to trial. Some cases can go to trial on a 0.06% and 0.07% because there is an inference that can be drawn either way. The prosecutor can say, “Hey, this person was 0.06% by the time they got tested at the station, but that is an hour and a half after they stopped drinking, so clearly, their level had to be higher.”

It depends if they are going to bring in an expert who is going to testify as to how alcohol gets absorbed into your body. They could probably give you a scientific guess on the period of time if they are qualified as an expert to say, “Look, if you blew at 0.06% two hours later, based on my training and experience, I would say that two hours ago, you were at 0.10%.” That kind of evidence obviously can be very damning.

However, most of the cases that go to trial are not breathalyzer test ones; they are usually refusals. Then you only have to go on what observations the police made and what his opinion was and how bad he is going to smell. If he smelled alcohol when you were driving, there are a lot of different factors that come into play.

If you are not sure If Most DUI Cases Go to Trial or not, call the law office of Barry Boches & Associates for a FREE Initial Consultation at (847) 244-4636 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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