American Personal Rights Home Ways to Fight a DUI Charge Challenging Evidence and Defenses Explained

Ways to Fight a DUI Charge Challenging Evidence and Defenses Explained

A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge can be a stressful and confusing experience. The penalties can be severe, impacting your driver’s license, insurance rates, and even employment. However, facing a DUI charge doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty. There are several ways to challenge the evidence and build a strong defense.

This article explores common DUI defense strategies a DUI defense lawyer may employ to fight your charge.

Challenging the Stop

The legality of the traffic stop that led to your arrest is crucial. Police officers need a valid reason, such as reasonable suspicion of a crime or a traffic violation, to pull you over.

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A DUI defense lawyer can analyze the details of your stop and identify any potential violations of your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. If the stop was deemed illegal, evidence obtained afterward, including field sobriety tests and breathalyzer results, could be excluded from court.

Medical Conditions Mimicking Intoxication

Certain medical conditions can mimic the symptoms of intoxication. Diabetes, inner ear problems, and even fatigue can cause slurred speech, unsteady balance, or difficulty focusing on eye movements. If you have a documented medical condition that could explain your behavior during the arrest, a DUI defense lawyer will present medical evidence to support your case.

Rising Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Alcohol absorption into the bloodstream takes time. It can take up to 30 minutes for your BAC to reach its peak after consuming a drink. If you were pulled over shortly after consuming alcohol, a DUI defense lawyer can argue that your BAC at the time of driving was likely lower than the BAC measured later at the station or hospital. This strategy might not dismiss the charge entirely, but it could lead to a reduction in penalties.

Improper Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)

Field sobriety tests are not foolproof. They require specific instructions and administration for accurate results. If the officer administering the FSTs did not follow proper procedure, or if there were external factors that could have impacted your performance (uneven pavement, poor lighting), a DUI defense lawyer can argue that the test results are unreliable.

Not Actually Driving

Being found asleep in the driver’s seat can lead to a DUI charge. However, if you were parked and not attempting to operate the vehicle, a DUI defense lawyer can argue that you were not “in actual physical control” of the vehicle. This distinction can be crucial in getting the charge dismissed.

Challenging Breathalyzer or Blood Test Accuracy

Breathalyzer and blood test machines are not infallible. Calibration issues, improper administration of the tests, or even residual mouth alcohol from recent use of mouthwash can lead to inaccurate results. A DUI defense lawyer can challenge the test results by questioning the machine’s maintenance records, the officer’s training in administering the tests, or by introducing expert testimony regarding potential sources of error.

Issues with Chain of Custody

Blood samples used for DUI testing require a strict chain of custody protocol to ensure their integrity. This means documenting the handling and storage of the sample from collection to testing. Any breaks in the chain of custody can raise doubts about the sample’s validity and lead to the results being excluded.

Improper Blood or Breath Test Collection

Police officers must follow specific procedures while obtaining blood or breath samples. If the officer pressured you into taking the test, failed to properly inform you of your rights, or used excessive force during the collection process, a DUI defense lawyer can argue that the evidence was obtained illegally and should be suppressed.

Mouth Alcohol

Certain dental procedures can trap small amounts of alcohol in your mouth. This residual alcohol can lead to inaccurate breathalyzer results. A DUI defense lawyer can investigate your recent dental history and present this information as a reason for questioning the breathalyzer test results.

Prescription Medication Effects

Prescription medications can sometimes impair your driving ability. If you were taking medication as prescribed when arrested for DUI, a DUI defense lawyer can introduce evidence demonstrating that the medication, not alcohol, caused your impairment. This could lead to a dismissal of the DUI charge or a lesser charge of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).

Remember, You Have Rights

Facing a DUI charge can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that you have rights. Do not discuss the details of your arrest with the police officer beyond providing your identification and registration. If you are arrested for DUI, the best course of action is to remain silent and request to speak with a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.

A DUI defense lawyer can analyze the specifics of your case, identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and develop a strong defense strategy. The information presented here is not a substitute for legal advice. If you are facing a DUI charge, consult with a qualified DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. Their experience and knowledge of DUI law can be invaluable in navigating the legal process and achieving the best possible outcome for your case.


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