Possible Defenses to DUI Charges
Driving under the influence of alcohol, also known as DUI, is illegal for a reason. Alcohol can compromise the driving skills of a person, putting him or her at risk of traffic accidents. But because DUI is illegal anywhere, it is often exaggerated and misunderstood, resulting into undeserved arrests, charges, and penalties.
The good news is, according to the website of Horst Law, there is a way to defend DUI charges, to minimize the penalties or dismiss the case entirely. Below are some of the most common defenses.
Validity of Stop
One of the most common ways to counter a DUI charge is to question the stop and arrest itself. If the driver has been ordered to pull over with no probable cause, all evidence that can be gathered during that period may be nullified.
Doubt on Officer’s Observation
The arresting officer’s observations can also be put into question, especially if these judgments have resulted into the arrest. Below are some examples:
- Officer believes that the driver is drunk, but in fact the driver is just sleepy
- Officer wrongly pulls over the driver because he appears to be driving erratically, even though he is not
Validity of Tests
There are various ways to test if a person is intoxicated, including breathalyzers, field sobriety tests, and chemical tests. But these tests can only be valid if the arrest is lawful and the officers have given warnings and proper information regarding them. If any of these factors are not met, the tests may be considered invalid, and therefore their results may not be considered viable evidence.
Accuracy of Tests Results
The tests are not always accurate, and this fact can be used as a defense in court, with the idea that the results are not truthful or just outright doubtful. Below are some of the instances where test results can be put into question:
- Administering authorities did improper procedures that may influence results
- Equipment, tools, and machines used in the test are defective
- Procedures were confusing, so driver was not able to properly do the tests