If you are facing DUI charges, your attorney should raise every available defense to help protect your freedom and your future. You could face mandatory jail time and fines and lose your driver’s license. A DUI arrest does not necessarily equal a conviction. Defenses will depend on the circumstances of your particular case.
What Defenses Can Your Attorney Raise Against DUI Charges?
The following are some of the most common legal defenses in DUI cases:
1. You were not intoxicated
Breath alcohol testing is not always accurate, and field sobriety tests may be invalid. Alcohol in the mouth can lead to falsely high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) results. Certain drinks, medicines, and mouth spray or wash can affect BAC readings. Field sobriety testing may not accurately measure impairment when administered to individuals with balance problems or people who are disabled, elderly, or overweight. In addition, objective symptoms of intoxication observed by an officer (red, watery eyes, flushed face, unsteady gait) may be attributed to other causes, such as allergies, fatigue, eye irritation, or the common cold.
2. Your driving was not impaired
Poor driving does not necessarily indicate DUI. Police officers rely on a “driving pattern” that may include speeding and weaving to spot drivers under the influence. In fact, many traffic violations are committed by sober people. Drivers who are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs may exceed the speed limit. A temporary distraction, such as checking a cell phone, could lead to weaving or drifting into another lane. Physical signs of impairment may have other causes than alcohol and do not prove that you were also mentally impaired.
3. Breath or blood tests were not conducted properly
DUI blood and breath testing must be conducted according to strict procedures. Equipment used must be regularly calibrated and maintained. Personnel conducting chemical tests must be properly trained. Samples must be properly collected, handled, and stored. Failure of law enforcement to follow any of these procedures may call the entire investigation into question and serve as a defense against DUI charges.
4. Your BAC was rising
Rising blood alcohol is a common defense against DUI. It is not against the law to drink alcohol before driving – only to drive alcohol-impaired. BAC rises steadily after you consume an alcoholic beverage, up to a maximum level, which takes approximately 50 minutes on average. In some cases, with other factors at work, it can up to two to three hours. If you were pulled over while your BAC was rising and subjected to chemical testing after a lengthy DUI investigation, your BAC level at the time of testing may have been considerably higher than it was at the time you were driving.
5. The arresting officer failed to follow proper procedures
This is a powerful defense against DUI, as well as other criminal charges. The Fourth Amendment provides protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Police must have probable cause for a traffic stop or a DUI investigation or arrest. Officers are required to read you your Miranda rights before a DUI interrogation. If your rights have been violated, our Colorado criminal defense attorney can take action to suppress any evidence so obtained in your case.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Accused of DUI?
If you have been accused of DUI, consult with an experienced Colorado DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. You will need a sound legal team to raise defenses against the charges. At Welsh Law, LLC, we have successful track record in criminal defense cases. We are passionate about the law and dedicated to our clients. Contact us at (720) 836-1777 to find out how we can help.