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In Indiana, the term for DUI is OWI (operating while intoxicated) and it refers to just about any motor vehicle. Each year, thousands of Indiana residents lose their lives to drivers who cannot operate a motor vehicle competently because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In response, the Indiana State legislature has passed a number of laws that some believe are overly harsh or do not make any scientific sense. If you have been charged with OWI in Indiana, an Angola DUI attorney can help you.
The Supreme Court and federal law have established that criminal prosecutors must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, the states have broad discretion when it comes to the process by which prosecutors can seek to prove their case. In Indiana, the state requires prosecutors to produce expert witnesses who testify concerning “retrograde extrapolation.”
Retrograde extrapolation is an overly fancy buzzword that means that police can charge you with DUI even if your BAC is below .08. For instance, if you leave a bar after a couple of drinks and are pulled over and the police take you down to the station, test your blood or make you blow into a breathalyzer, and you end up blowing a .06, they can still charge you with DNA. Their reason: Retrograde extrapolation.
On the one hand, this is damning evidence. The jury will look at the “expert” as if their testimony has been handed down from on high. The prosecution is counting on this. Even defendants are intimidated. On the other hand, this is no more than a guess. But the prosecution will go out of its way to make it look like a mathematical fact.
In order to do this, they use something called the Widmark Formula. The Widmark Formula has two major problems. Firstly, it only works during the elimination phase and everyone’s body absorbs alcohol at a different rate. This brings us to the second problem. The Widmark Formula is based on certain averages, which means any result it gives would be an approximation.
In Indiana, the procedural standard is lower than in other states. The Widmark Formula does not require a forensic toxicologist to certify the results; it only requires a police officer who has undergone some training.
This often places the burden of proof on the defense to prove that the test that was administered at the time has either dubious results or is being interpreted to the advantage of the prosecution.
The prosecution is tricky in these cases. Even if your results were under the legal limit, they can still present evidence at trial saying you were over the legal limit while you were driving. An Angola DUI attorney can help. Talk to The Bellinger Law Office today.
- on July 28, 2020
- on July 21, 2020
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