In 2016, over 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. While people are occasionally caught driving after they’ve had far too much to drink, it’s not possible to test over the legal limit after a drink or two when you feel no impairment at all.
If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, there are steps you can take to defend yourself.
Confused, where to start? not to be worried, we have got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to get out of a DUI.
Lack of Probable Cause
In order to be legally pulled over while you’re driving, the law enforcement officer needs to have some sort of probable cause. In the case of a DUI, this can include swerving, driving without your lights on, or running a red light.
But, officers don’t have sufficient probable cause if they pull somebody over simply because they’re out driving late.
If you are successfully able to use this as a legal offense, your attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence in reference to anything that was found after your illegal stop. So, if the officer was unable to provide a sufficient reason behind why they pulled you over, they may not have enough evidence to use against you in court.
Interestingly, breathalyzer equipment that law enforcement uses during traffic stops is unable to pinpoint the exact blood alcohol content (BAC) in someone’s body. In fact, they only provide a range of values that could be used to estimate their BAC.
Frequently, devices that are improperly calibrated will produce inaccurate results. But, even a properly calibrated breathalyzer has a large enough margin of error to declare someone is over the legal BAC when they actually aren’t.
So, it’s important to keep this information in mind if you happen to blow an amount that landed you in jail.
Field Sobriety Test Inaccuracy
As you may expect, a field sobriety test also has a margin of error if calibrated equipment can’t provide perfect results.
Out of everything the officer might make you do, there are only three types of tests that have been proven to have a certain level of accuracy:
- The ‘walk and turn’ test
- The ‘one-leg stand’
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus
However, there’s a large handful of factors that could contribute to someone failing this test even if they are not inebriated.
One of the most common scenarios is if someone has a notable amount of nervousness or anxiety during the test. This can be further exacerbated by law enforcement officers who pressure the individual to perform the tests faster.
Other causes of inaccurate results could include poor athleticism, poor visibility of the surrounding conditions, medical issues, etc.
If you feel that your field sobriety test results were inaccurate based on any of the above information, it’s essential to contact a legal professional as soon as possible.
No Proof That You Were Driving
Due to the mechanics of the United States justice system, legal prosecutors need definitive proof that you were driving the car at the time of the incident.
For example, If a security camera at a gas station recorded you filling up your tank at 3:07 AM and you were involved in an accident at 3:13 AM down the road, it can likely be concluded that you were driving.
If an officer found you intoxicated while in a parked car, though, they won’t have proof that you had been driving unless there was video evidence or they had witnessed it themselves.
DUI Sobriety Checkpoint Violations
DUI checkpoints often land a large number of drivers in legal trouble. But, there’s also a large number of requirements that need to be met in order to allow this evidence to be used in court.
Most notably, the roadblock locations must be advertised by law enforcement before they’re implemented. Failing to do so could render evidence acquired at this location useless.
Additionally, the checkpoint must be located in a reasonable location (such as the main road), and police should not detain drivers for more than a minimal amount of time.
These violations could be used to defend yourself against the DUI results similar to how a lack of probable cause could. You can visit this resource to read more now about DUI checkpoint standards.
A Discrepancy Between Impairment and BAC Results
Occasionally, breathalyzer tests will yield highly inaccurate results that do not reflect the driver’s current state of mind. Most commonly, a breathalyzer will declare that the driver is far over the legal limit when they may not have more than a minuscule amount of alcohol in their system.
If you’re able to prove your recent driving behavior (such as through security camera footage) and this conflicts with the reading that the breathalyzer gave, you may find yourself getting your DUI case dismissed in court.
Non-Alcohol-Related Causes of Impairment Symptoms
If you’ve been pulled over by a police officer who had sufficient probable cause, they would likely administer a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test if they suspect that you are under the influence of alcohol.
But, many of the symptoms associated with driving under the influence can have other causes. These can include:
- Limping or unsteady gait
- Red eyes
- Slurred speech
- Flushed skin
Allergy symptoms, fatigue, and even underlying illnesses could all result in an individual having the appearance of someone who is impaired.
Understanding How to Get Out of a DUI Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it’s not as complicated as it may seem to properly defend yourself.
With the above information about how to get out of a DUI in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward defending yourself as efficiently as possible.
Want to learn more tips that can help you out in the future? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog.