Why Bloodshot Eyes May Not Be a Reliable Predictor of Sobriety in a DUI Case

Posted on January 30, 2014

Arresting Officer

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, the arresting officer may have noted bloodshot eyes. As a Redwood City DUI lawyer can explain, the existence of bloodshot eyes may not always reliably indicate intoxication.

A Redwood City DUI Lawyer Discusses the Importance of Establishing a Baseline

An arresting officer may make several observations of a DUI suspect during a traffic stop. As your Redwood City DUI attorney will explain, many of these observations are of a physical nature such as bloodshot eyes or rapid eye movement. However, observations at the scene may not take into account the baseline appearance of your eyes. As your Redwood City DUI attorney may note, some people simply have eyes that appear more bloodshot naturally. Several conditions can cause this such as fatigue, age, allergies, or the use of contact lenses.

A Redwood City DUI lawyer can discuss ways to bring these issues up with the arresting officer at trial.

A Redwood City DUI Lawyer Will Cross Examine the Arresting Officer

If the arresting officer used an observation of bloodshot eyes as evidence of intoxication, your Redwood City DUI attorney will vigorously cross examine him or her on this point. For example, your Redwood City DUI lawyer may ask pointed questions such as:

  • You have no idea whether the defendant’s eyes are normally red, do you?
  • Intoxication isn’t the only thing that can cause bloodshot eyes, correct?
  • Pollution, fatigue, allergies and contact lenses can all cause redness in the eyes correct?

By getting the officer to admit that intoxication may not have been the reason for the redness of the eyes, a defense attorney can try to call into question the officer’s conclusions. Your lawyer cannot guarantee an acquittal but can work to zealously defend you in court. A defense attorney will carefully examine all evidence against you looking for potential weaknesses.

To speak with an experienced Redwood City DUI lawyer about the charges you face, contact Silveira Law to set up a consultation at (415) 795-3890.