DUI penalty offenses can be devastating. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI and desire to combat your charges, a DUI lawyer can help you. The right defense strategy can convince the prosecution to drop or reduce your DUI charges, prevent the suspension of your license, or secure an acquittal at trial.
Proving a DUI Conviction
The prosecution must prove that the defendant drove a vehicle and was under the influence of drugs or alcohol in a DUI case.
Proper DUI defense strategies target one of these two components. The defenses available will depend on how and where your DUI took place. Read on for some of the strategies Weber Law states that lawyers have used when defending their DUI clients from DUI convictions.
DUI Defense Strategies
You can’t be convicted of a DUI unless you were driving a vehicle. However, that may not apply in court if you were asleep in a parked vehicle. Many states don’t require proof of actual driving for a DUI conviction, only that you were “operating” a vehicle while intoxicated.
Driver intoxication evidence comes in different forms. Chemical test show what amount of alcohol or drugs a driver had in their system, and can prove the intoxication component a DUI charge. However, results can be deemed unreliable, and expert witnesses have gotten chemical tests dismissed in certain circumstances.
An officer’s observations can be an important part of the prosecution’s case. An officer’s observations of impairment in a DUI can include the following:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Driving technique
- Field sobriety test performance
- Alcohol odor
- Unsteady behavior
- Slurred speech
Your defense may need to challenge the significance of an officer’s observations. Although it can be difficult to convince jurors that the officer’s conclusions about the driver’s intoxication were wrong, the right attorney can help you get your charges dropped or dismissed.
Common Drunk Driving Defense Strategies
Your DUI legal team can craft a defense strategy tailored to the details of your case. Doing so will give you the best chance to overcome your DUI case or at least get your charges reduced to a manageable level. Here are some of the most common drunk driving defense strategies:
Being improperly stopped is one of the most common arguments used by DUI defense attorneys. It’s illegal for an officer to stop you if they lacked probable cause to make the initial traffic stop. Doing so is a violation of your rights and could lead to your case being thrown out of court.
Accuracy of Field Sobriety Test
Your arrest can be ruled improper if it was based on an improperly administered field sobriety test. Since the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test can present inaccurate results, it is often challenged in court. Finding the right DUI attorney can ensure that all options are exhausted in your DUI defense.
Breathalyzer Test Accuracy
Your attorney can challenge the administration of the breathalyzer test used at the scene of your DUI arrest. An experienced attorney can challenge the arresting officer’s training and whether the breath test device was properly calibrated and maintained. An ill-maintained breathalyzer could lead to your DUI dismissal.
Blood Test Defense
Suppose the defense is able to raise enough questions about the administration of a blood test or whether it was tampered with or otherwise mishandled in the chain of custody. In that case, they may be able to have this evidence discarded. Doing so could lead to a favorable outcome in your DUI case.
Blood Alcohol Concentration Changes
Sometimes the legal defense can win a DUI case if they claim that your BAC was below the legal limit while driving but actually increased between the time of the traffic stop and the administration of the breath test. This is possible when recently consumed alcohol has yet to be fully absorbed into the system prior to the DUI traffic stop.