Scranton football fans may enjoy watching the Philadelphia Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and other professional or college football team in the area. For many fans who watch football, alcohol is a part of enjoying the game. If you consume alcohol and drive home, however, you could find yourself facing arrest.
If you are charged with impaired driving and your blood alcohol concentration was above-the-limit on the test you had to take, you still have options for DWI defense.
Do You Have Options for DWI Defense After Drinking During Football Games?
Many people who consume alcohol during football games end up having enough to drink they are over the .08 percent legal limit. ABC News reported one in 12 fans leaving football stadiums are legally impaired.
Scranton doesn't have a stadium where pro football games are played, but many people still gather at bars or friends' houses to watch the game and drink. One study conducted by a state Department of Transportation found 45 percent of football fans who drink during the game consume at least three drinks.
If you had three drinks while watching and drove home afterwards, this could be enough for you to blow .08 or higher on a breath test, or for a blood or urine test to show your alcohol levels are too high. Many drivers who have a BAC test showing impairment assume this means they are going to be convicted of impaired driving, but this is not necessarily true.
Even when test results show your blood alcohol levels were over-the-limit, prosecutors still have the legal burden of proving the case against you. If you can make the jury doubt whether the test results are accurate, you can avoid being found guilty. If you can keep the prosecutor from using the test results as evidence, you may also be able to avoid a conviction.
Test results cannot be used against you if your Fourth Amendment rights were violated in the initial traffic stop or in the request to submit to testing of your BAC. A careful review should be conducted to determine if police were justified in stopping your vehicle or if there was probable cause to assume you were impaired and thus to subject you to a BAC test.
Even if the test was justified, it may not have been accurate. One recent ABC News report showed serious problems at a state crime lab were jeopardizing prosecutors' ability to take legal action against DWI defendants.
The crime lab had problems with its scientific method, and both internal audits and outside investigations showed serious issues like samples being mixed up and test results being improperly disposed of. Crime labs are not always 100 percent accurate and mistakes can be made in the way evidence is handled, which make it possible for a jury to have reasonable doubt about the veracity of forensic test results.
Even if your test shows you were impaired after a football game, don't give up- consider what your options are for DUI defense so you can try to keep your license and stay out of jail.