Driving under the influence or DUI is a crime with serious repercussions. With the help of skilled DUI defense lawyers, individuals can seek justice. Here are some strategies attorneys may employ in such cases.
1. Legal Defenses
• Legality of the Traffic Stop
Law enforcement officers must have a valid reason to initiate a traffic stop, such as witnessing a traffic infraction or reasonable suspicion of a crime. If the stop was made without proper justification, it’s possible to challenge the legality of the stop and seek a dismissal of the charges.
• Sufficiency of the Arrest
A police officer must gather enough evidence to establish probable cause before making an arrest. Observations of driving behavior, field sobriety test performance, and test results are factors evaluated to determine probable cause. If the officer lacked sufficient evidence to justify the arrest, the resulting case may be dismissed, including any chemical tests obtained after the arrest.
• Legality of the Search Warrant
In cases where a driver refuses a breath test, a search warrant for a blood test may be obtained. However, if the officer’s affidavit supporting the search warrant lacks sufficient probable cause, it can be challenged, potentially suppressing evidence.
2. Breath Test Defenses
• Rising Alcohol Defense
The blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver will not be accurate if they are pulled over while their body is still absorbing the alcohol. If they are given a blood test or breathalyzer test at any point, let’s say, an hour after driving, their blood alcohol level will be higher than their actual alcohol level when they were driving. Establishing a rising alcohol defense asserts the BAC was below the legal limit while driving.
• GERD and Diabetes
Certain medical conditions, such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Type 1 diabetes, can interfere with breath alcohol test results. The presence of alcohol from the stomach or acetone from diabetes can affect the accuracy of breath test readings, providing a potential defense angle.
• Instrumentation Unreliability or Inaccuracy
Breath test machines must be properly maintained and administered as per state rules. Failure to follow these rules can compromise the accuracy and reliability of the results. Challenging the maintenance and calibration records of the breath test instruments can expose potential vulnerabilities in the evidence.
3. Blood Test Defenses
• Specimen Collection
Improper collection of blood specimens can lead to unreliable or inadmissible results. Laws require that blood samples be collected by qualified individuals following specific procedures. Any issues with the collection technique or potential contamination can be used to challenge the accuracy and reliability of the blood test results.
• Specimen Preservation and Analysis
The handling, preservation, and analysis of blood specimens must follow established protocols. Any failure to adhere to these protocols or errors during the analysis process can be grounds for challenging the test results.
Contact Haynes Melbye Law Office Today for Legal Assistance
Facing DUI charges can be a terrifying experience, but we’re here to provide you with the legal assistance you need. Call us now to schedule an appointment with our attorneys.