DWI Dismissals on the Rise
July 31, 2018
Most people think of drunk driving when a person is driving while intoxicated (DWI), but a DWI violation can involve any intoxicating substance and can cause catastrophic car accidents. Most people with a DWI charge will be convicted, however, over the past 10 years, the rate of convictions has gone down from about 85 percent to about 70 percent. During the same 10-year period, the percentage of DWI charges that were dismissed rose from around 12 to 24 percent.
Some believe that the changes in convictions and dismissals are related to the intoxicating substances drivers are using that make DWIs harder to detect. Others believe that warnings about the dangers of driving while intoxicated, along with the harsh penalties, have dissuaded people from driving while intoxicated.
How are DWIs Evaluated?
Laws differ from state to state. A person who is suspected of DWI will usually be administered a field sobriety test. This test is designed to evaluate whether a driver is impaired based on what the officer observes. If the officer thinks alcohol is the culprit, the driver will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. This test measures a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Anyone driving with a BAC more than 0.08 percent is considered DWI.
DWIs are harder to prove for non-alcohol related offenses. The sobriety test can still be used, but there is no test that is comparable to the breathalyzer for any of the various drugs that can impair perception and reaction time. To address this problem, drug recognition experts (DRE) are specially trained to recognize symptoms of using various drugs and identify the type of drug the driver consumed. The DRE can run blood pressure tests, pupil size tests, and compare the results to a matrix of drug symptoms to determine what type of drug the driver might be on.
Pleadings, Penalties, and Dismissals
Drivers with DWI charges face serious consequences, such as fines, license suspension, and possible jail time. Many dismissals are the result of an alternative disposition where the driver is instead found guilty of reckless driving, which has less harsh penalties than a DWI conviction. Other dismissals can result from challenges to the validity of the tests used to determine DWI. A person driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a danger to themselves and others on the road, and an experienced car accident lawyer can determine your next steps after an accident.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Fight for Victims Harmed by Those Who Drive While Intoxicated
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a drugged or drunk driving accident, contact a Cherry Hill car accident lawyer at DiTomaso Law today. We will fight to hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries. Call us at 856-414-0010 or complete our online form. With office locations in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.
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