If I am Charged With Reckless Driving can the Officer Testify About Alcohol Consumption?
Yes. If you are charged with reckless driving, any factors such as alcohol, drugs, or a simple distraction all relate to you being impaired and are all factors that matter in the case. They are relevant evidence for the judge to hear about. Therefore, if you are charged with reckless driving due to an accident and the officer determined that you had been drinking on the day in question, his field sobriety tests and observations about your drinking can come into evidence.
With that said, we may still have arguments about the preliminary breath test, if one was administered. The preliminary breath test is a handheld test that the officer gives you on the side of the road to give a quick gauge of whether or not you are actually above the legal limit of .08. That test is inadmissible to prove guilt or innocence for DUI, but it can be used in reckless driving cases depending on the judge.
We can still argue that the preliminary breath test may not have been shown to be reliable in court. Only certain devices are approved by the state to be used for breath testing and the device itself must be calibrated and maintained. If the officer does not have all the evidence together, we can argue that even though you blew a .07 the judge should not hear about the breath test because of the lack of evidence to prove that the test in question was accurate.
The bottom line is that if you are charged with reckless driving a factor such as alcohol consumption can come into court against you. The good news is that in some cases if I am aware of these situations ahead of time, I can discuss the matter with the officer and sometimes they will agree to not bring them up in court. And on some occasions we can reach an alternate agreement about the actual charge depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case.
photo credit: tracie7779