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Driving Behavior Can Be Caused by Many Factors Unrelated to Alcohol

Dudley Goar, Attorney at Law

Police officers are often required to make difficult decisions with incomplete information when they arrest someone for OUI. When they pull over a driver and have a suspicion that the driver may have consumed alcohol, they need to determine whether there is probable cause that the driver is “under the influence” (OUI) in a legal sense, meaning that their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely is reduced due to alcohol. Doing this at road side can be challenging and, frankly, it is not uncommon for them to get it wrong. Behavior that the police attribute to alcohol may well be due to some other factor. A recent article in the New York Times about a driver that was arrested for drunk driving but in fact was experiencing a serious medical episode unrelated to alcohol illustrates this point. Another example is an OUI case I recently tried in which the officer attributed my client’s driving to alcohol impairment when it was likely due to her inability to see well at night. She told him that she needed glasses, but he never asked her about whether that fact was related to her driving. I have also had numerous OUI cases in which my client simply did not understand what the officer was telling him because of limited English language skills. It is difficult or even impossible for someone who does not understand instructions about how to properly perform field sobriety tests to perform the tests correctly.

All of which goes to show that the officer’s decision to arrest someone for drunk driving is often the result of incomplete information and a rush to judgment. Ultimately, it is not the officer’s decision that counts but the jury’s decision at a trial. Therefore, if you have been charged with drunk driving it is critical that you consult an experienced attorney. A qualified OUI attorney will assess all of the relevant facts, including those that were never known or considered by the police officer who arrested you, and will let you know whether it makes sense to take your case to trial.

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Dudley exceeded my expectations... and came prepared with pictures and information that resulted in us winning the case. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a professional and caring attorney.


I have no words to explain my gratitude for Mr Dudley. He is been my attorney for 3 years and did excellent work to help me out from "OUI" & family case. I would definitely recommend him. He was always there to guide me.


Attorney Goar defended me in a criminal case in which I had been falsely accused of a crime by my business competitors. He was successful in getting the criminal case dismissed and then represented me in a civil case against the people who had falsely accused me. Thanks to Attorney Goar I cleared...


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