On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in DWI / DUID on Saturday, April 8, 2017.
Imagine spending the day at your friend’s BBQ and enjoying the nice weather along with some brisket, ribs and beer. On your way home, a police officer pulls your vehicle over. The next thing you know, the officer is charging you with driving under the influence. Challenging a drunk driving charge can be very difficult, but it is possible.
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence, you should remember that you still have the right to defend yourself. An experienced criminal attorney in the Saint Louis area can help you fight DUI charges. Read more about six common defenses to a DUI charge.
1. Inappropriate Stop
One of the most common defenses to a DUI is that the officer did not have a good reason to stop the vehicle. For example, if you were driving the speed limit, not swerving, properly applied the brakes or accelerated, used your turn signals and your tags were up-to-date, the officer’s reason for pulling you over may be improper in the eyes of the court.
2. Mistakes with the field test
When a police officer makes a suspected drunk driving stop, he or she will typically administer a field sobriety test. If the officer made mistakes while administering the test or the results were questionable, you might be able to successfully fight the charges.
3. Problems with the portable Breathalyzer
Another test that the officer might use is a Breathalyzer test. However, if the BBQ triggered indigestion, you might have a solid defense to the results. In addition, if the officer did not administer the test properly or lacked training, the court may throw out the results.
4. Problems with the standard Breathalyzer
After your arrest, the officer might administer a standard Breathalyzer test at the police station. Just like with the portable Breathalyzer, your attorney can challenge the results if there were interfering issues. This includes improper administration, whether or not you vomited or other factors.
5. Failure in the chain of custody
The chain of custody can often result in tainted or missing evidence. If an officer or lab technician did not properly handle the results of your blood alcohol test, or if the results were lost, your lawyer might be able to successfully challenge the charges.
6. Changes in blood alcohol levels
It takes time for alcohol to absorb into the blood stream. If you drank a beer just before leaving the BBQ, it is possible that your blood alcohol concentration was under the limit at the time the officer stopped you. However, by the time you arrived at the police station and the officers administered a blood test, your blood alcohol content could have increased to or beyond the limit.
A DUI conviction can have far reaching consequences. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.