10 Defenses to a DUI Charge

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Facing a DUI charge can be daunting, with potential consequences including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. However, a DUI charge does not automatically result in a conviction. Several defenses can be used to challenge the charges and potentially have them reduced or dismissed.

Here are ten defenses to a DUI charge.

1. Improper Traffic Stop

One of the most common defenses to a DUI charge is questioning the legality of the initial traffic stop. Law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. If the stop was not based on probable cause, any evidence obtained during the stop may be inadmissible in court.

2. Faulty Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are often used to establish probable cause for a DUI arrest. However, these tests are not always reliable. Factors such as uneven surfaces, poor lighting, weather conditions, and even the driver's physical condition can affect the results. Challenging the administration and accuracy of FSTs can be a strong defense.

3. Inaccurate Breathalyzer Results

Breathalyzer devices are not infallible. Several factors can lead to inaccurate readings, including improper calibration, software malfunctions, and even the presence of certain substances in the mouth (such as mouthwash or medications).

Questioning the accuracy and maintenance of the breathalyzer can cast doubt on the validity of the test results.

4. Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can produce symptoms that mimic intoxication or affect the results of breathalyzer and blood tests. Conditions such as diabetes, acid reflux, and neurological disorders can cause balance issues, slurred speech, and false positives.

Providing medical evidence of these conditions can be a viable defense.

5. Improper Administration of Tests

Law enforcement officers must follow specific protocols when administering DUI tests. Any deviation from these procedures can compromise the validity of the test results. This includes improper handling of breathalyzer devices, incorrect blood draw procedures, and failure to observe the driver before administering tests.

6. Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

BAC levels can continue to rise after a person has stopped drinking, a phenomenon known as "rising BAC." If there was a delay between the time of driving and the administration of the breathalyzer or blood test, it is possible that the BAC was below the legal limit while the person was actually driving.

7. Mouth Alcohol

Residual alcohol in the mouth can lead to inflated breathalyzer readings. This can result from recent use of mouthwash, cough syrup, or even belching or regurgitation. Demonstrating the presence of mouth alcohol can challenge the accuracy of breathalyzer results.

8. Illegal Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement conducted a search of your vehicle or person without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence obtained may be suppressed. This can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case.

9. Failure to Mirandize

Upon arrest, law enforcement must inform you of your rights, commonly known as Miranda rights. Failure to do so can render any statements or confessions made during the arrest inadmissible in court. This defense can be particularly powerful if the prosecution’s case relies heavily on your statements.

10. Mistaken Identity

In some cases, a DUI arrest may be based on mistaken identity or confusion regarding who was driving. This can occur in situations involving multiple passengers or unclear circumstances. Providing evidence that you were not the driver can be a strong defense.

Protect Your Rights and Challenge the Evidence! Call Us Now!

A DUI charge does not necessarily mean a conviction is inevitable. Numerous defenses are available that can challenge the evidence and the procedures used by law enforcement.

If you are facing a DUI charge, it is crucial to consult with an experienced DUI attorney who can evaluate your case and determine the best defense strategy. Contact Monroe Law, P.A. today at (904) 507-6194 to learn more.