Your DUI Defense
If You Answer “YES” to Any of the Questions Below, You May Have An Excellent Defense To Your DUI Case
Regarding the Stop
- Did the police pull you over for no reason?
- Did the police tell you a reason, but issued you a citation for a different reason?
- Was your vehicle parked when the police first came in contact with you?
- Did you pull over as soon as you became aware you were being stopped?
- Did you pull over without weaving or swerving?
- Were you stopped by the police at a DUI Checkpoint?
- Were you outside the vehicle when the police arrived?
Regarding the Field Sobriety Tests
- Did the police officer fail to inform you that the field sobriety tests are voluntary?
- Did nervousness or exhaustion affect your performance on the field sobriety tests?
- Did you have any physical problems, which would affect your performance on the field sobriety tests?
- After you were placed under arrest, did the police read you your Miranda Warnings?
- Were the field sobriety tests performed close to or on the roadway?
- Did the officer administer the tests on a surface which was not well lit, clean and flat?
- Did you perform the tests with high heels on?
Regarding the Breath Test
- Did the police “persuade” you into taking the breath test?
- Did the police tell you to “keep blowing” during the breath test?
- Did the police need several breathalyzer attempts to get a final reading?
- Did the police fail to observe you for 20 minutes prior to the test?
- Were you wearing removable dentures during the breath test?
- Did you consume your last alcoholic drink within one hour of taking the breath test?
- Is your breath reading below a .11?
- Is there a variation in the breath readings?
Other Possible Defenses:
Driving Intoxication is not enough:
the prosecution must also prove that the defendant was driving. This may be difficult if, as in the case of some accidents, there are no witnesses to his being the driver of the vehicle.
Evidence will be suppressed if the officer did not have legal cause to (a) stop, (b) detain and (c) arrest. Sobriety roadblocks present particularly complex issues.
Incriminating statements may be suppressed if warnings were not given at the appropriate time.
Implied consent warnings.
If the officer did not advise you of the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test, or gave it incorrectly, in some states this may affect admissibility of the test results — as well as the license suspension imposed by the motor vehicle department.
“Under the influence”.
The officer’s observations and opinions as to intoxication can be questioned — the circumstances under which the field sobriety tests were given, for example, or the subjective (and predisposed) nature of what the officer considers as “failing”. Too, witnesses can testify that you appeared to be sober.
There exists a wide range of potential problems with blood, breath or urine testing. “Non-specific” analysis, for example: most breath machines will register many chemical compounds found on the human breath as alcohol. And breath machines assume a 2100-to-1 ratio in converting alcohol in the breath into alcohol in the blood; in fact, this ratio varies widely from person to person (and within a person from one moment to another). Radio frequency interference can result in inaccurate readings. These and other defects in analysis can be brought out in cross-examination of the state’s expert witness and/or the defense can hire its own forensic chemist.
Testing during the absorptive phase.
The blood, breath or urine test will be unreliable if done while you are still actively absorbing alcohol (it takes 30 minutes to three hours to complete absorption; this can be delayed if food is present in the stomach). Thus, drinking “one for the road” can cause inaccurate test results.
This refers to the requirement that the BAC be “related back” in time from the test to the driving. Again, a number of complex physiological problems are involved here.
Regulation of blood-alcohol testing.
The prosecution must prove that the blood, breath or urine test complied with state requirements as to calibration, maintenance, etc.
License suspension hearings.
A number of issues can be raised in the context of an administrative hearing before the state’s department of motor vehicles.