As a former prosecutor, I have handled hundreds of DUI cases and taken several to trial before both juries (jury trial) and judges (bench trial). More often though, DUI cases are handled through negotiation and pretrial motions that revolve around the individual facts of each case. The overarching question with each DUI is whether the evidence obtained by law enforcement is admissible and if that evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is guilty of DUI.
In Montana, according to Section 61-8-1002, MCA, a person commits the offense of driving under the influence if the person drives or is in actual physical control of:
a vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle upon the ways of this state open to the public while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or a combination of alcohol or any drug;
a noncommercial vehicle upon the ways of this state open to the public while the person's alcohol concentration, as show by analysis of the person's blood, breath, or other bodily substance, is 0.08 or more;
a commercial motor vehicle within this state while the person's alcohol concentration, as shown by analysis of the person's blood, breath, or other bodily substance, is 0.04 or more;
a noncommercial vehicle within this state while the person's delta-9-tetrahyodrocannabinol level, excluding inactive metabolites, as shown by analysis of the person's blood or other bodily substance, is 5 ng/ml or more; or
a vehicle within this state when the person is under 21 years of age at the time of the offense while the person's blood, breath, or other bodily substance, is 0.02 or more.
The phrase "under the influence" means that as a result of taking into the body alcohol, drugs or any combination of alcohol and drugs, a person's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle has been diminished. MCJI 10-102(b) (2009). If you refused a blood or breath test, a judge or jury may infer from your refusal that you were under the influence. The inference is rebuttable.
A DUI conviction can change your life and have long lasting consequences. Call today to hire a trusted defense attorney in Bozeman, Montana.
Call 406-241-1864 at any time to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.