How Can Prosecutors Prove a Their Case if I Don’t Take a BAC test During a Los Angeles DUI

  • September 1, 2017

    Not every drunk driving case includes a chemical test for alcohol. In most cases, when law enforcement thinks that you might be DUI, they usually offer a chemical test. However, sometimes, a test for your blood alcohol content (BAC) doesn’t happen. In other cases, the court might suppress the BAC evidence in your case. You might wonder what happens to your case if there’s no BAC test to admit at trial.

    The state attorney can still decide whether to pursue your case without BAC evidence. They have to determine if there’s enough other evidence available that there’s a good chance that a jury would convict you of DUI. There isn’t any one single piece of other evidence that the case hinges on. Instead, it’s up to the state attorney to look at the totality of the case in order to make a decision.

    It’s harder for the state to prosecute a drunk driving case without a BAC test. In fact, they can’t charge you with driving with an unlawful bodily alcohol content. Instead, they have to charge you under the theory that alcohol or drugs influenced your ability to drive.

    They might try to prove this by pointing to evidence of the way that you were driving. If a traffic crash occurred, they might point to the crash and say that you must have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs because a crash occurred. Your attorney can help you determine if the jury is likely to believe that it was alcohol that caused the crash. Driving mistakes and accidents happen even when alcohol isn’t involved. An accident alone may or may not be enough to convince a jury that the accident happened because alcohol influenced your ability to drive.

    Without a crash, the state might try to present evidence of your driving. They might have dash cam video that shows you driving poorly. You might cross over the center line or hug the shoulder. They might show you drifting within your lane or driving erratically. The jury can consider this evidence in order to determine your guilt or innocence.

    Even if law enforcement doesn’t administer a chemical test in your case, they can still use the field sobriety tests in your case as evidence of guilt. Field sobriety tests done properly can help an officer determine if you’re over the legal limit. It stands to reason that evidence of your performance on these tests can show a jury whether you’re under the influence of alcohol.

    The officer might explain how the field sobriety tests work. They might talk about what kinds of things they look for when they perform the tests. This might include whether your arms sway, whether you can follow instructions and whether you lose your balance during the tests.

    In addition, you can expect law enforcement to take advantage of any admissions that you make about your drinking. If you tell the police that you’re leaving a party, they’re going to tell the jury about your admission. If you tell them that you drank 10 beers before you drove the vehicle, you can expect the state’s attorney to look forward to telling the jury about it.

    They can also look at your personal appearance. You might have glassy eyes that look like a person looks after they drink alcohol. Law enforcement might say that you smelled like intoxicants when they first found you on the scene. If you stumble as you get out of your vehicle, this can also count against you.

    There may be other evidence of your intoxication. Witnesses might come forward to testify that you drank alcohol before you drove a vehicle. The police might find beer cans or an open container in your vehicle. Relevant evidence is anything that makes the case against you more or less likely.

    Because it’s harder for the state to prove their case without a BAC test, you may be able to get an acceptable plea offer in the case. This might be a way to reach a good result in your case without the risk of going to trial. Your attorney can help you evaluate the state’s evidence and weigh any plea offers that the state extends in your case. Your attorney can help you determine if it’s a good idea to accept an offer or ask a jury to weigh the evidence against you.

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