An arrest for DUI risks not only your driving privileges but also your freedom. If you’ve been accused of a DUI, you should know that your defense is an important part of retaining your driver’s license and avoiding community service, heavy fines, and even jail time. Learn more about the 5 most common DUI defenses.
1. No Probable Cause For a Stop
If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer, they must have a reasonable suspicion that you are driving while impaired in some way. Probable cause is required before an officer can pull you over, detain you, conduct a DUI investigation, or arrest you. If the officer does not have probable cause, any evidence gathered by them may not be used in court. If the prosecution is relying on this evidence to convict you, they may be unable to secure a conviction.
2. Faulty or Unreliable Breath Tests
Breath tests are commonly used to measure the alcohol content of a person’s breath and translate the results into the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level. There can be several factors that can affect a breath test and make it less accurate. These factors can include:
- Improper use by the officer
- Physiological conditions, including diabetes and gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Instrument malfunction
- Failure to observe the driver for signs of intoxication prior to the test
3. Mouth Alcohol
A breath test is designed to measure the amount of alcohol contained in the person’s alveolar air, or air from their lungs. It is possible that it may pick up alcohol from your mouth while measuring your breath. Alcohol soaked food or dental work can cause the level of measured alcohol to be increased.
4. Rising Blood Alcohol
It can take between 50 minutes and 3 hours to completely absorb an alcoholic drink. If you recently finished drinking before you got behind the wheel, it is possible that your body will still be metabolizing your drink, and your BAC will continue to rise until the alcohol is completely processed by your body. When you BAC is still rising, you may have a BAC that is much higher by the time you are finally tested than it was when you were actually driving. It is assumed that you are at peak absorption when you are tested, but rising blood alcohol can cause the breath test results to be skewed. Your lawyer may argue that your breath test results aren’t applicable to your BAC while driving.
5. Field Sobriety Tests Are Inaccurate
A popular way to evaluate impairment, field sobriety tests are notoriously inaccurate. A number of factors can cause you to appear drunk, including:
- Officer-induced intimidation
- Poor lighting
- Bad weather
- Uneven surface
- Poor footwear
- A naturally uncoordinated driver
Start your DUI defense today. At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, we can help you determine the best defenses for your case. Our Murrieta DUI lawyers can help you protect your driving privileges and defend yourself from your charges.
Contact our offices to request a free initial case evaluation. Call (951) 506-6654.