Have you been in the unfortunate situation of being pulled over by a police officer when you have had one too many drinks before getting behind the wheel? There are many ways to legally beat a DUI charge–because police officers make mistakes, there are many ways to challenge the accuracy of how they determined you were driving under the influence. A good lawyer can evaluate the likelihood that the evidence the state might hold against you will be found inadmissible because of human error, or rather, an officer’s ability to accurately enforce the law in accordance with your rights. As well, some of the “scientific” ways that the police use to determine a person’s blood alcohol level may not give accurate results.
If you have lost all hope, know that there are ways to beat a DUI charge.
Lack of Probable Cause and Inadmissible Evidence
If you were pulled over while minding your own business, and then arrested for driving under the influence, there is a chance that there was a lack of probable cause. Many DUI charges come from being pulled over by common things that many of us do — but NOT because the arresting officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over and test you for drunk driving. These things include but are not limited to: driving above or below the speed limit; weaving or drifting from your lane; following too closely; having a head or tail light out; not turning on your turn indicator; or making an illegal turn or stop. If a stop that resulted in a DUI arrest was not legal, evidence collected during the investigation is not admissible. With no evidence, your case is likely to be dismissed.
Inefficacy of Field Sobriety Tests
If you were given a field sobriety test that resulted in a DUI arrest, there is a good chance that you can reduce the amount of evidence that can be used against you. For most people, doing things such as saying the alphabet backwards, closing our eyes while trying to touch our nose, or standing on one foot, are hard or impossible for us to do regardless of whether you’ve been drinking. You can question the efficacy of a field sobriety test. While this may not get your case dismissed, it may reduce the amount of evidence against you, and cause credibility issues for the prosecution.
Challenge BAC Results from a Breathalyzer Test
Breathalyzers often deliver readings that do not reflect actual amounts of consumed alcohol. There are many reasons for this. Improper calibration of the equipment and equipment failure, or user error, are common reasons for breathalyzer inaccuracy. Breathalyzers cannot typically differentiate between different kinds of alcohol. For example, mouthwash and certain foods can be detected as alcohol. As well, there are many medical conditions such as GERD and acid reflux, or ketosis (which can be the result of a low-carb diet) that can cause a breathalyzer test to be inaccurate.
If you’ve been taken into custody, you must be informed of your Miranda rights that are protected by the law. An arresting officer is supposed to tell you that you are not required to make incriminating statements, that what you say can be used against you, and that you have a right to an attorney. Law enforcement is legally obligated in most states to inform a detained person of these rights prior to questioning. If a police officer fails to Mirandize a driver, the evidence collected in a DUI investigation can be ruled inadmissible.
Not All DUI Checkpoints are the Same
DUI checkpoints are controversial for many reasons. Many cases contesting their constitutionality have been tried in order to determine whether checkpoints infringe on Fourth Amendment rights. The way law enforcement is supposed to set up and operate roadblocks is very prescribed. If these protocols were not implemented when you were stopped, it may be possible to prove that you were stopped illegally. Some requirements for DUI checkpoints include:
- Choosing who will be stopped must be done in accordance with a uniform procedure. For example, if every third car is supposed to be pulled over, they must do this throughout the entire duration of their road block.
- Safety of drivers must be upheld. This includes adequate lighting, and clear and advance notice of the upcoming roadblock.
- A person’s constitutional privacy rights must be maintained throughout the entirety of a stop.
If you are dealing with a DUI arrest, there are many ways that the law can protect you and your rights. A compassionate and experienced DUI attorney can help to ensure that your rights are upheld. Feel free to call our office today for a free consultation!