Could the Way You Look Lead to DUI Charges?

When attempting to handle criminal charges of any type, you certainly know that evidence can play an important role in your defense as well as the prosecution's case against you. During the discovery portion of your criminal proceedings, you have the right to request the evidence against you in order to better understand what to expect and how to potentially plan ahead to face your case.

Though the United States Constitution protects you from being forced to incriminate yourself, you may still wonder what factors officers may take into account as evidence just from looking at you. When it comes to DUI charges, driver evidence could play a role in why a police officer takes you into custody on such allegations.

Just the way you look tonight

A variety of physical factors could play into an officer's suspicions that you have driven under the influence. In particular, an officer may look for common signs of intoxication, including:

  • Your state of dress: If your clothing is disheveled, an officer may suspect that intoxication prevented you from presenting yourself properly.
  • Eye appearance: An officer may also pay close attention to your eyes. If they appear red, bloodshot, unfocused or glassy, he or she may suspect that intoxication caused that appearance.
  • Your manner of speech: You undoubtedly know that intoxicated individuals tend to slur their speech, and if for some reason you do not speak clearly, an officer may suspect alcohol consumption.
  • Other sights and smells: Of course, one major indicator that could rouse suspicion relates to the smell of alcohol on your breath or clothing. Additionally, an officer may take an unshaven face, uncombed hair or a flushed face as evidence as well.

As you may suspect, these factors have a relatively subjective nature. Therefore, you may have a greater chance of combating this type of evidence in court. For instance, your eyes may have looked red due to recently crying over an unrelated matter, or you may have a speech impediment that results in slurred or difficult to understand speech.

Other types of evidence

Driver evidence does not stand as the only type of evidence an officer may collect before charging you with DUI. In all likelihood, a blood-alcohol concentration test will play a role as well as any other observations outside your physical appearance that the arresting officer may have made. If you choose to review this evidence during your discovery period, you may feel more confident when working on your criminal defense.