Most of the time, when an individual is convicted of a DUI, the state will present chemical (blood alcohol concentration) evidence to support its charge. This evidence is usually provided as the result of either a
breathalyzer test or a blood test. However, a recent case in New Jersey saw an individual convicted of DUI without any chemical evidence, and that conviction was upheld upon appeal.
The case centered around a defendant that was observed not maintaining his lane, driving into the shoulder of his lane, and driving into the opposite lane. An officer pulled the individual over and noticed bloodshot, watery eyes, and a distinct smell of alcohol coming from the individual. The individual was administered and failed field sobriety tests. He was then administered a breathalyzer test but was not able to emit enough breath to generate a reading. The suspect was then arrested and charged with DUI and failing to submit to a breathalyzer.
The defendant appealed the guilty finding, claiming that his eyes were bloodshot due to a medical issue and there was no chemical evidence that he was intoxicated. The appeals court didn't buy it. They ruled that his actions and behavior were consistent with alcohol intoxication and, despite the lack of chemical evidence, let the conviction stand. If you live in Burlington, Essex, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne, or anywhere in the state of Vermont, and have been arrested or charged with DUI or any crime, call Handy Law for aggressive and experienced legal defense.