If you’re caught driving under the influence in Wichita, KS, you could be charged with a DUI. What does this mean for most people in this situation? First, you should note that in this state, police officers can use several different methods of charging drivers with a DUI. Take a look at these options and get to know more about DUI laws in this area in case you’re ever facing a charge of this type.
Blood Alcohol Level Over the Legal Limit
One of the standard ways a police officer can charge a driver with a DUI in Wichita, KS is by testing the blood alcohol level. If it’s at or above 0.08 percent, the driver can legally be charged with a DUI. If the driver is under the age of 21, his or her blood alcohol level only has to be above 0.02 percent to get a DUI. And if the driver has a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, and riving a commercial vehicle, a blood alcohol level of 0.04 percent or above can result in a DUI.
The police officer obtains these percentages by having the driver take a test that screens the breath, blood or urine. If you think it’s likely you’ll test over the legal limit, you might assume you can simply refuse the test and take the penalties that often come with test refusal. However, in Kansas, the police can use another method of building their DUI case against drivers and test refusals have their own drivers license suspension penalties.
Driver Is Impaired Beyond Safe Operation of the Car
The other method of charging a driver with a DUI depends less on test results and more on the officer’s discretion. If he or she thinks there is evidence that you are too impaired, due to drugs and/or alcohol, to safely drive your vehicle, you might get arrested for DUI in Wichita, KS. This usually means the officer can claim he or she saw you swerving as you drove or that your speech is slurred.
Since the point of DUI laws is to keep possibly dangerous drivers off the road, the police get some leeway when it comes to deciding to arrest a driver with DUI. Basically, they can use their training and experience when determining whether to arrest you for this charge, even if you do not take any tests.
How DUI Charges Are Used in Court in Kansas
It is possible to be charged with both being over the legal limit and being impaired to where you cannot safely drive your car. However, you should keep in mind that the prosecutors for your case cannot convict you on all of the alternative DUI charges. The Judge or Jury has to choose one, and it’s usually the one they can prove most easily.
This means that even if your tests are deemed invalid and cannot be used against you in court, you could still be convicted with being too impaired to safely operate a car. Of course, this is assuming the police officer observed you slurring your speech, swerving your vehicle or behaving in any way that would suggest you cannot safely drive due to drugs and/or alcohol.
What Can You Do?
If you’re worried about being charged with DUI using any of the available methods, you need a Wichita, KS lawyer to help with your case. Jonathan McConnell, attorney at law, has years of experience with DUI cases in Kansas and can advise you on what to do next. So as soon as you know you have DUI charges against you, contact Jonathan McConnell to get started on your criminal defense case.