Have you been charged with Operating While Intoxicated (“OWI”)? An OWI conviction can have severe consequences, including:
- suspension of your driver’s license;
- expensive fines and court costs;
- court-mandated community service;
- court-mandated substance abuse treatment;
- increased insurance rates;
- embarrassment and damage to reputation;
- loss of employment; and
- even jail time.
In an Operating While Intoxicated case, the traffic stop may look something like this:
An officer suspects that you are Operating While Intoxicated (Driving Under the Influence), the following then occurs:
1. The officer conducts a traffic stop;
- The officer is assessing how long it takes you to stop, where you stop and how you stop
2. The officer approaches your vehicle and request your license, registration, and insurance card (note: the officer may or may not tell you the reason for the stop);
- The officer is assessing how long it takes you to find your documents, your coordination, and dexterity.
3. The officer may ask you initial questions, such as “where are you coming from” or “where are you going;”
- The officer is assessing whether he smells alcohol or any other illegal substance (like marijuana); the officer is assessing your speech and your eyes.
4. The officer may ask you if you have had anything to drink;
- The officer is attempting to determine if you consumed alcohol, how much you consumed, and how long it has been since it was consumed, to determine your level of intoxication. You are not required to provide this information.
5. The officer may advise you that he or she has reason to believe that you are intoxicated and ask you to step out of the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests;
- The officer is assessing your balance, coordination, ability to follow directions
6. The officer may ask you to submit to a portable breath test (“PBT”);
- This is another tool the officer uses to assess the level of intoxication. In Indiana, the results of a PBT are not admissible in court
7. The officer will inform you that you are under arrest, place you in handcuffs, and read you the Indiana Implied Consent Law
- Under Indiana Implied Consent Law, I.C. 9-30-6-1, a person who operates a vehicle impliedly consents to submit to a chemical alcohol concentration test.
8. You, and possibly your car, will be searched;
9. Your car may be towed, at your expense;
10. The officer will offer you a certified chemical breath test at the police department or a blood test.
11. You are charged and will likely be required to post a substantial cash bail to be released.
At Stracci Law Group, we understand the impact that this type of charge may have on your life and the lives of your family. That is why we examine the minute details of each case to determine the most effective strategy to help you obtain the best possible outcome.
One of the biggest fallacies in OWI cases is that there is no defense. There are a number of ways to defend OWI cases, and at Stracci Law Group, we explore them all. There are several relevant factors to consider, for example:
- Whether the individual was “operating;”
- Whether the transportation mechanism was a “vehicle;”
- External factors such as weather or road hazards;
- The reason for the stop;
- Proof of intoxication, particularly at the time the vehicle was actually operated;
- Medical conditions and/or prescribed medications;
- Procedures followed by the arresting officer;
- Availability of dash camera, body camera, police department, booking area, civilian and neighboring businesses’ video recordings;
- Whether tests were offered by the officer, and if so, which type;
- Compliance with federal and state regulations regarding the administration of field sobriety tests, breath test, blood alcohol tests, and equipment inspection;
- Legal challenges to any search performed;
- Admissibility of statements made by the driver and whether or not Miranda was violated;
- Training, qualifications, and personnel records of the arresting officer;
- Independent witnesses; and
- Use of expert witnesses.
At Stracci Law Group, we will fight to get your driving privileges restored as quickly as possible. There are a number of ways to defend against an OWI charge and significantly improve your outcome. We have handled thousands of OWI cases and have over eighty (80) years of collective experience. At Stracci Law Group, you have a team of attorneys who will strongly advocate for your driving privileges, rights, reputation, and freedom.
We will take the time to get to know you and understand your unique situation and goals. We will sit down with you and explain our plan for achieving the goals and discuss what steps can be taken to allow you to drive legally until this matter is behind you.
If you have been charged with an OWI offense, call Stracci Law Group today to schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation today and let us put our skills to work for you.