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What kind of evidence proves intoxication in a DUI case?

Drunk driving defendants will remain innocent of their DUI charges in Tennessee until -- and only if -- the prosecution proves them to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The way the prosecution will prove guilt in this respect is to present evidence that the defendant was indeed intoxicated.

As a part of the criminal defense process, it may be in the best interest of the defendant to try and cast doubt on the alleged evidence of intoxication that the prosecution attempts to use against the defendant.

What type of evidence determines intoxication during a DUI case?

There are three primary kinds of evidence that prosecutors use to prove intoxication during a DUI case:

Field evidence: Field evidence refers to the officer's testimony and observations that might involve descriptions of the driver's erratic driving or performance during a field sobriety test. Field evidence could also include photographs and video of the driver while driving, during the field sobriety test and during the arrest.

Driver evidence: Driver evidence refers to how the driver appeared, sounded or smelled physically at the time of the arrest. For example, maybe the driver suffered from bloodshot eyes, looked disheveled, had uncombed hair, smelled like alcohol or had slurred speech.

Blood-alcohol evidence: Blood-alcohol evidence will relate to the way the defendant performed on various blood-alcohol tests, such as Breathalyzer tests, blood tests and urine tests.

Defendants may be able to challenge evidence of intoxication

The above evidence of intoxication examples can be sufficient to convict a defendant. However, they may also be subject to scrutiny. If a defendant can successfully challenge this evidence of intoxication, it could be significantly helpful during his or her criminal defense process.

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Jack P. Sherman, Attorney at Law
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