Have You Seen Laws Pertaining To DUIs Change Over The Years?
It seems in Kansas they want to change the DUI laws every couple of years. Both in the penalty for the DUI, and now what we would call collateral consequences. The effects on driving privileges and the ability to have certain kinds of employment have certainly changed over thirty years for most people.
What is a Prosecutor Looking to Prove in a DUI Case?
As a former prosecutor, I understand the prosecutor’s perspective on things. Or, at least, I have a better idea of how prosecutors see these cases. Certainly, the judge’s attitude towards DUIs has changed dramatically over the last thirty years. Thirty years ago, DUIs were considered a serious traffic offense, but it was still a traffic offense.
Now, the attitudes of the judges are that it is a serious offense. We certainly see those unfortunate circumstances where someone dies as a result of an accident involving alcohol or drugs, and it has impacted how judges try these cases and the seriousness in which they take them.
Do Most DUI Defendants Have High BAC Levels?
The limit in Kansas is .08% blood alcohol content. I’ve worked with clients who have registered a .090% to .12%, or even .13% blood alcohol content. Almost universally, the people who come into my firm with those blood alcohol levels say, “you know, I was perfectly fine to drive.” So a person’s interpretation of their level of intoxication is never a good indication of what their alcohol level really was at the time of their charge.
I have some clients who have very high blood alcohol content. I have worked probably three or four cases where I have people with over .40% BAC’s, which is four times the legal limit. It is very easy to get a DUI because the perception of intoxication is no measure of the actual level of intoxication, particularly at low levels.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Institute developed the standards by which we determine when people are intoxicated to the level that they cannot safely operate a motor vehicle. All of their testing has been standardized at a .10% level because, at one time based upon scientific research, we found that the average person loses the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle at approximately .10% blood alcohol content.
The legislature, for whatever reasons they chose, decided that they were going to put in a margin of error, and they lowered it from .10% down to .08%. To give you an indication of how much .08% is, an adult will usually hit this level after consuming four beers. Four beers, four glasses of wine, or four single shot mixed drinks will get a person over .08%. These days, that standard has proven to be pretty low for a lot of people.
Don’t Face Your Charges Alone
At the end of the day, you can’t risk your future with just any attorney when facing a DUI charge. With over three decades of experience defending clients from a variety of different DUI charges, I can provide you with a strong defense. If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with a DUI, reach out to my office today for help.