A charge of driving under the influence poses serious consequences, and a clear understanding of the most effective defenses is an integral part of a defense case.
Many people believe that a charge always leads to a conviction, but several strategies can challenge the evidence and how authorities obtained it.
Challenge the initial stop
There are over 10,000 fatalities from drunk driving accidents annually, so officers often look for drunk drivers. However, law enforcement needs a valid reason to initiate a stop, such as a traffic violation or erratic driving behavior. If they lacked legitimate grounds, the court might deem any evidence they collected afterward inadmissible.
Inspect the testing equipment
BAC testing devices require regular maintenance and calibration to function correctly. If someone did not maintain or calibrate the equipment used to measure blood alcohol content properly, the test results might not be accurate. Moreover, if the test administrator did not follow the correct procedures, one can dispute the results.
Highlight medical and health factors
Some medical conditions and diets can impact BAC readings. For instance, individuals with diabetes or a ketogenic diet might have body chemicals that falsely raise BAC readings. Presenting evidence of these medical conditions can offer a defense against DUI charges.
Assess field sobriety tests
Field sobriety tests, such as the one-leg stand or the walk-and-turn, can be subjective. Factors like uneven surfaces, poor lighting or an individual’s physical condition can skew the results. If the tests did not account for these external factors, one can challenge the validity of these tests.
Evaluate the arrest procedure
After making the traffic stop, law enforcement officers must adhere to specific protocols. They must inform the individual of their rights and ensure clear comprehension. Any deviations from these standard protocols can serve as a defense.
Analyze the timeline
The human body metabolizes alcohol over time. If a significant time gap exists between the traffic stop and the BAC test, the readings may not represent the individual’s actual BAC during driving. This discrepancy can be a key aspect in defending against DUI charges.
For anyone facing a DUI charge, knowing what to do is key. Be informed and proactive when working through the complexities of DUI defense.