DUI Defense Strategies
A conviction for DUI can mean a jail sentence, loss of license, financial difficulty and other potentially grave consequences. On the other hand, there are various DUI defense strategies that can be used to dismiss or reduce your charges.
In the past, an individual would be charged with a DUI mostly based on the patrol officer’s observance of his driving symptoms. These symptoms could include a person’s driving action like racing, tailgating, swerving or weaving. The person would be pulled over and undergo a field sobriety examination. They may be instructed to stand on one leg or walk on a white line for some time. The arresting officer’s subjective observations would be used to charge the suspect and later applied as evidence in court. Depending on your case, these are some of the DUI defense strategies you can use.
DUI Defense Strategies that You Can Use to Dismiss or Reduce Charges
Questionable Chemical Testing
Methods used today to determine a person’s sobriety include a scientific examination of his BAC or Blood Alcohol Content. This test is common in various states and has been used for several years. It’s prohibited in some countries to drive with a BAC that’s 0.08 percent or higher. With BAC as the main aspect in most cases in determining a person’s soberness, the testing device is usually the key in giving the proper BAC of an individual. Defense lawyers usually question the validity of these tests if the screening device model used is not reliable. DUI lawyers know what test devices have a poor track record and normally use this information to nullify the BAC exam and have his client’s case dismissed. This is one of the DUI defense strategies used by most lawyers.
Recalling the day you were arrested is also important to successful DUI defenses. Questions like what you ate, who you were with and where you planned to go may be asked by both the prosecution and your DUI lawyer. These questions can support your claim of questioning the outcome of the chemical test.
Inaccurate Chemical Test Instruments
The chemical test might be inaccurate and the devices used are not completely reliable. Three main kinds of breath examinations are used today by police force departments – the Intoximeter, Intoxilyzer and Breathalyzer. The latter is the most popular, but it’s quite outdated. Police officers now mainly use the Intoximeter and Intoxilyzer. A common error when using these examinations is mouth alcohol contamination. Some DUI attorneys call this the belch defense. The devices are expected to test the alcohol amount in the air of a person’s lungs. Before the air can be screened, however, it accumulates through the mouth of the person. For instance, if the individual burps before the examination is performed, his mouth can be composed of undiluted alcohol from his stomach. This sample would be contaminated and provide a false reading.
Police officers are given an observance period of around 20 minutes to confirm that the person didn’t smoke, burp or drink a beverage. A DUI lawyer can show that no observance period took place by requesting the exact timing of different tasks like preparing paperwork, discussing with other police officers and setting up the devices. The police officer is required to explain the observance period’s accurate length of time.
You Were Inappropriately Pulled Over
Some police officers stop drivers just because it’s nighttime and they believe that they’ve had a few drinks. Drivers might be pulled over for loud car stereos or loud exhaust or slight swerving in a lane. Some officers park outside bars and check the license plates of drivers who have outstanding tickets. The alleged reason for the stop is used to validate an investigation. In accordance with the law, the officer needs reasonable suspicion to pull over a vehicle or should actually see a public violation. The justification of the officer for stopping you is an important element of the case and should be properly evaluated to verify if it was valid.
Even when an adequate reason was used to stop the driver from a legal point of view, the driving of the motorist does not always support the hypothesis of the officer that the driver was intoxicated. For example, almost everyone speeds, so speeding is not enough reason to say that one is intoxicated. If the lawyer can show that the officer didn’t have an acceptable reason to stop your car, then the evidence collected after the stop may be declared unacceptable. In a legal standpoint, the stop should be validated by probable reason or an articulable notion of unlawful activity. However, it should be kept in mind that any traffic code violation like weaving between lanes or speeding will also provide enough reason for the stop.
Errors in the Charging Documents
Irregularities in the police reports and charging documents can be used to question the credibility of the police officer and as one of your DUI defense strategies. Your lawyer may reason that if the officer was mistaken about the direction or time of day your vehicle was traveling, then he might also have other details wrong. Since the prosecutor's case usually depends largely on the arresting officer’s testimony, this argument is very important.
Here's a quick video to highlight typical DUI defense strategies:
DUI Defense Strategies Video
Mouth Alcohol Can Taint the Results of Breath Alcohol Test
Breath testing machines detect the deep lungs’ alveolar air, which is loosely connected with blood alcohol level. However, the device can be deceived by dormant alcohol within the mouth, which is often caused by belching, burping or the recent use of cold medicine, breath spray, mouthwash or cough syrup. When the device reads mouth alcohol instead of deep lung air, the BAC readings it provides are higher than the actual BAC. DUI arrestees with braces, orthodontic work, food impactions, denture adhesives, cavities, dentures or have food particles lodged between their teeth might find themselves facing a DUI charge for this reason. Their lawyer can help them prove that their BAC reading was the result of their mouth alcohol.
A seasoned DUI lawyer can use a lot of DUI defense strategies to ensure your case is reduced or dropped. Be sure to call our featured DUI Lawyer for Rochester NY who can really help you by highlighting to you the right research for your specific DUI case.
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Our featured attorney may be a certified specialist in their DUI field. If so, the organization providing the certification is not affiliated with any governmental authority. Certification is not a requirement for the practice of law in the State of New York and does not necessarily indicate greater competence than other attorneys experienced in this field of law.