There has been an ongoing problem with wrong-way driving in the Tampa Bay area. While it is true that some of these issues have to do with drivers who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, there are other problems including a high tourist population which drives the problem. What is not always clear is how it is possible to defend against wrong-way driving charges.
Not Always Obvious Guilt
Typically, someone who is charged is stopped on a one-way street and cited on the spot which seems to imply they are guilty. However, there are mitigating circumstances which a competent criminal defense attorney can mount on your behalf. Keep in mind, even if you are impaired while driving due to drugs, alcohol or distractions, there are still circumstances which can used to mount a defense.
Some of those circumstances include:
- Road Construction: Road Construction can suddenly, without warning, change the direction of traffic. If drivers are unaware of these changes, they mistakenly may drive in the wrong direction. Alcohol/drug impairment thus may not be the cause for drivers accidently driving the wrong way. As an experienced DUI attorney, we can present this fact to the Judge and Prosecutor.
- Poor signage – oftentimes the signs that point to one-way streets are unclear. This may be a result of an old sign that has become illegible or because the sign placement makes it unclear the street is one way.
- Improper lighting – even when a street has proper signage, if the area surrounding the sign is poorly lit, you could potentially miss the sign telling you the road is one way.
- Unfamiliar with roadways – even under ideal conditions meaning the weather is perfect, the sign is clear and the lighting is helpful, you could find yourself going the wrong way on a one-way road simply because you are not familiar with the area you are traveling in. This is a defense even if it does not appear that way initially.