More and more states are adopting stricter DUI laws. Law enforcers and prosecutors want you to believe that you are automatically guilty if you are accused of driving under the influence. This is not always the case. You have rights, and there are ways to defend yourself against these charges. If you are charged with a DUI, it is crucial to understand the different ways you can defend yourself against the charges.
Here are some of the common ways you can defend yourself against DUI charges:
1. Lack of Probable Cause to Stop or Arrest for DUI
One of the most common ways to defend against DUI charges is to argue that the law enforcer did not have probable cause to sojourn your vehicle or arrest you for DUI. Probable cause is a rational belief that misconduct has been committed or is about to be achieved. This means that the police officer must have had a valid reason to believe that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs to pull you over or arrest you for DUI.
If the police officer who pulled you over did not have a valid reason to do so, then any evidence obtained from the stop may be suppressed. This includes evidence such as your BAC results from a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test. Without this evidence, the prosecution may not be able to prove that you were driving under the influence, and the charges against you may be dropped.
2. Inaccurate Breathalyzer Test
Another common way to defend against DUI charges is to challenge the accuracy of the breathalyzer test. The result of a breathalyzer test is characteristically used as evidence to show that your BAC was over the legal limit. However, many factors can affect the accuracy of a breathalyzer test.
When charged with a DUI case, your lawyer can challenge the accuracy of the test by looking at factors such as the calibration of the machine, whether you had anything in your mouth that could have affected the test, and whether the officer who administered the test followed proper procedure. For example, if the breathalyzer machine was not correctly calibrated, the results of the test may be inexact.
3. Failing to Demonstrate Impairment of Faculties
The government will have to demonstrate that you were impaired by alcohol or drugs to the extent that your faculties to drive were diminished. This means that the prosecution will need to show that you were unable to safely operate a vehicle or that your ability to do so was significantly impaired.
The lack of roadside sobriety tests or other evidence of impairment can be used to defend against DUI charges. The challenge in proving this defense is that there is no specific BAC level at which everyone becomes impaired. However, the upright, divided attention and complex coordination necessary to drive safely generally become more difficult as BAC increases.
Overall, law enforcement officers and prosecutors must prove that the content of alcohol in your blood was way over the legal limit and that this actually impacted your ability to drive. If this cannot be shown, then you have a chance to dismiss your DUI charges and avoid a conviction.