Driving Under The Influence Has Sobering Consequences
One mistake should not ruin your life!
Have you lost out on opportunities because of your criminal record? If so, we might be able to help you obtain an expungement — even for certain Class D felonies. Contact us to find out about eligibility.
Drunk driving, sometimes referred to as DUI or DWI, is a common but serious crime across the U.S. It goes without saying that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs endangers the driver and others on the road. Penalties are generally harsh and can include license suspension, fines and jail time. DUI attorneys at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold will candidly and aggressively represent you if you face a first DUI offense or subsequent DUI charge.
Many think that a DUI arrest will lead automatically to penalties, but there are ways to challenge your charges. Police procedures can be scrutinized by an attorney to determine if there was any inappropriate conduct during your stop. An officer needs probable cause, both to stop your vehicle, and when asking you to perform a field sobriety test or Breathalyzer. This means that there must be observable evidence supporting the fact that a driver was intoxicated while driving. Observable signs can include:
- Glassy or bloodshot eyes
- The smell of alcohol on a driver’s breath
- Empty alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia in plain view
- Erratic driving patterns
This means that arbitrary stops and arrests are illegal. Our observant, knowledgeable attorneys will carefully analyze police reports and salient details from your case to determine if police lacked probable cause or otherwise violated your rights in the process of a search or arrest.
Probable Cause And The Legality Of Checkpoints
This also applies to police checkpoints, often referred to as “roadblocks,” a contentious method of DUI enforcement. Some civil liberties proponents contend that arbitrary police checkpoints violate the Fourth Amendment that prohibits authorities from conducting searches without probable cause.
Twelve states have decided to outlaw police checkpoints; however, Kentucky is one of 38 states, plus the District of Columbia that currently allow police to stop drivers at checkpoints. Although checkpoints remain a controversial issue, there are clear procedures stipulating how and when a checkpoint can be conducted.
How A DUI Will Affect You
Penalties for DUI include fines and fees, license suspension and jail sentences for drivers convicted of DUI. Penalties increase in cases where drivers have a blood alcohol content that is far beyond the legal limit, typically known as an aggravated DUI. Knowing that a driver’s license is extremely important for most people, the Commonwealth of Kentucky allows DUI offenders to apply for a hardship license after a designated period of time.
A hardship license can only be used for travel to and from the following locations:
- Your place of employment
- Medical treatment facilities
- Alcohol or substance abuse education programs
- Court-ordered treatment programs
Our lawyers can completely and accurately fill out paperwork when helping you apply for a hardship license in Richmond, Madison County, or one of the neighboring areas.