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Maybe you figured you could drive home from Wichita with your eyes closed by now, so what difference would a couple drinks make? Or maybe you thought it was too pricey to get a hotel in Topeka for the night, so you braved the drive, even though you had one too many shots to celebrate your buddy's birthday. No matter how your blood-alcohol content (BAC) went over the legal limit, Kansas drunk driving laws severely punish drunk driving -- also known as "driving under the influence" -- because driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs kills thousands of people in Kansas each year and injures even more.
Under Kansas drunk driving laws, "driving under the influence" means that an officer determined you had a BAC higher than the relevant legal limit. Typically, an officer will notice that you were swerving while driving, cutting off other cars, or otherwise driving suspiciously, and then the officer will pull you over and ask to administer a field sobriety test and either a breathalyzer or a chemical blood test.
If you drive through a sobriety checkpoint, the officer does not need to have reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence -- the officer just needs to follow the preset rules for a legal sobriety checkpoint. For instance, the officer must check every third car.
BAC legal limits:
Penalties for Drunk Driving Charge:
Read the full text of the Kansas States for more information.
If you've been charged with a DUI, a skilled Kansas criminal defense attorney has ways to challenge the charge against you. Typically, a criminal attorney will argue one of three defenses. First, an attorney will argue that the police officer illegally stopped your car. For instance, if you were not speeding, didn’t have a broken taillight, and were otherwise following the rules of the road, the police officer may have illegally pulled you over; so any tests conducted after that cannot be admitted into evidence. Second, if the stop was legal, an attorney will argue that the officer improperly administered the field sobriety or breathalyzer test. Finally, an attorney can argue that the breathalyzer machine itself malfunctioned.
There may be other defenses you can use if none of these apply to your situation.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified drunk driving lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local drunk driving attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.