Getting a DUI is bad, if convicted the offender faces the possibility of a jail sentence, losing their license and thousands of dollars in fines and penalties. But not all hope is lost; by now most people understand that beating these charges is possible with an effective defense strategy.
DUI attorneys have a number of possible defenses they can present such as questioning the reasonable suspicion to stop or arrest a person, and by challenging the results of field sobriety and breathalyzer tests.
When an officer pulls an individual over they have must have reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed. Stops for investigatory reasons are forbidden by the constitution, so one of the first things an attorney will question is did the officer have a valid reason to stop an offender in the first place?
If an officer arrests someone for suspicion of DUI they must provide evidence that the person is intoxicated, if they cannot provide the necessary proof that a crime is being committed a case can be dismissed.
Generally police use field sobriety tests to determine if a driver is drunk, but DUI lawyers can contest the result of these tests for a number of reasons. Many people perform poorly on field sobriety tests even if they haven’t been drinking.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set forth guidelines that tell officers when they should not administer a field sobriety test. These criteria include if the detainee is overweight, over the age of 65, has any ankle, knee, hip or back injuries, has any injuries that affect balance such as a prior brain injury, or if they are wearing heels higher than two inches. All of these criteria can affect a person’s performance on a sobriety test and cause police to make an unnecessary arrest.
A DUI attorney will also question the results of a breathalyzer test. Unless these machines are calibrated on a regular basis or maintained for accuracy they can give false results. Certain types of breathalyzers such as the Intoxilyzer have a record of giving false readings.
This is just a brief overview of some of the strategies an attorney will use to help you prevent a DUI conviction.