Getting a DUI Under the Legal Limit in Wyoming

Star TribuneCheyenne, WY – If a driver demonstrates impairment, police officers may use other factors to charge drivers with DUI. One in 30 cases involves people with a blood alcohol level less than Wyoming’s legal limit of .08%.

According to state law, other factors can be used in charging drivers with DUI. Their ability to walk in a straight line, the smell of alcohol in the car, or inability to perform basic functions assist an officer in judging a driver’s level of impairment.

Johnny Alegria, 35, of Colorado, was allegedly driving 106 mph when a Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper pulled him over. His blood alcohol level of .06% was below the legal limit, but from the trooper’s report stated that he could not count backward and his breath smelled strongly of liquor.

Dennis Grant, a part-time prosecutor for Laramie County, explained that these cases are harder to convict than ones in which drivers blow .08% or more.

Other tests that officers use to reveal a driver’s sobriety are reciting the alphabet, completing a heel-to-toe turn, and speaking without slurring. Failure to successfully execute these simple tasks can result in conviction.

Officers must be certain of the proof, and properly consider all facets of the sobriety testing procedure. Officers must weigh in the different ways that people respond to alcohol. While blood alcohol level may be the same for two people, their behaviors may be completely different.

Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Duane Ellis explained, "I’ve seen 0.06, and quite frequently, those drivers are all over the road, yet an experienced drinker can walk, talk and drive pretty well even at twice the legal limit."

May 31, 2004

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