If you have been charged with a DUI, you are most likely emotionally overwhelmed every time you think about the consequences of a conviction. You may be concerned about jail time, fines, license suspension, or the overall impact a DUI conviction will have on your personal and professional reputation.
However, there are a number of potential defenses that can be raised in a given drunk driving case. In deciding which defenses could apply in your DUI case, your criminal defense attorney will examine all of the evidence produced by police and interview witnesses.
The following are the most common DUI defenses:
- Improper stop by law enforcement – Without reasonable suspicion, police officers cannot pull you over. Law enforcement must notice a suspect do something wrong. So if you were obeying all traffic laws, not swerving, and did not have a mechanical malfunction with your vehicle, it may be possible to assert that police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Any evidence obtained thereafter is inadmissible.
- Police failed to read your Miranda Rights – Anyone who has seen police in television shows or movies knows the beginning of their Miranda Rights. Police officers are required to inform you of your rights as soon as you are placed under arrest. If they don’t—or only tell you part of the warning—then any incriminating statements may be suppressed.
- Medical conditions – If you have an existing medical condition that makes it appear as though you are intoxicated, then your attorney may you this particular defense. Diabetes symptoms can make a person appear erratic. Acid reflux can result in a higher reading on a breathalyzer test. Motor injuries would cause an individual to perform poorly on a field sobriety test.
- Mouth alcohol – Certain medical conditions and dental fixtures can result in a higher BAC reading on a breathalyzer test. Things that can contribute to residual mouth alcohol include acid reflux, dental bridges or crowns, and even dentures.
- Failure to follow proper protocol for field sobriety tests and chemical tests – If an arrest was based on an improperly administered field sobriety test, then the case can be dismissed. If a breathalyzer device was not adequately calibrated and maintained, then your attorney can have the results dismissed in court.
- Improper storage of blood alcohol samples – Law enforcement officers are required to store your blood samples properly to ensure they are not exposed to fermentation, contamination, or mislabeling. If questions arise as to the integrity of the sample, that piece of evidence could be thrown out.