Typically, we think of a breathalyzer test as the main method the law uses to prove someone was drunk behind the wheel of a car. However, a court can take many different factors into account while determining whether a Canton driver truly possessed too much alcohol in his or her system. Usually, these factors center around the behavior of the driver at the time the officer stopped the driver.
As FindLaw explains, while police officers do use blood alcohol level as evidence of a DUI, they also employ evidence gathered in the field and driver evidence. Field evidence can consist of video recordings and still images taken at the location where the driver was stopped by the officer. It can also include the officer’s testimony of how the driver was behaving, how the driver appeared, and verbal statements the driver made to the officer.
When it comes to driver evidence, an officer is going to look for specific signs that the driver was drunk. The driver’s clothes may be rumpled and unkempt, the hair might be uncombed, and in the case of male drivers, they might have unshaved facial hair. Officers also look for red or bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, a flushed face, or breath that smells of alcohol.
It is possible to avoid giving an officer incriminating evidence by your actions. Police will note any self-incriminating statements that you make, so exercising your right to remain silent can help avoid this problem. If you fail a field sobriety test, the officer will note that in the report; however, as FindLaw points out, you are not legally obligated to take a field sobriety test.
Still, you cannot avoid taking all screening tests, and refusing to take a breath test could result in serious legal consequences. Combined with the fact that an officer can note all sorts of facts about your behavior at the time of the arrest and use it to make a case against you, retaining the services of an experienced DUI defense attorney is crucial to giving you the best chance to avoid a stiff sentence and penalties.