If you’re charged with a DUI, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept the charge and live with it on your record. In other words, a DUI case is rarely a hopeless case, and there are ways to challenge the conviction.
Yes, you may feel like the odds are stacked against you when a DUI prosecutor reads the evidence of your DUI charge. But remember that evidence is often ambiguous and open to interpretation. With the right DUI attorney on your side, you have a chance of proving your innocence.
Here are a few of the options you have on how to beat a DUI.
What Are the Types of DUI Offenses?
A DUI refers to driving under the influence of a substance that impairs your cognitive ability. This substance could be alcohol or drugs. There are two main criminal offenses related to DUI:
- Driving under the influence of a substance that measures as ”over the limit”. Your blood alcohol content must measure at .08 BAC.
- Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test or blood test if a police officer has requested it
The consequences of a DUI may vary depending on your particular circumstance. However, they can be severe and have a lasting impact on your life. Just some of these consequences include:
- A driver’s license suspension of one year
- A DUI fine that averages $1,200, as well as the cost of Ignition Interlock installation
- A large increase in your car insurance premium
- Mandatory jail time and a longer period of license suspension for a second DUI offense
Bear in mind that a DUI conviction also goes onto your record permanently. This means you could face hardship in the future when looking for employment or exiting the country for travel. The consequences of a DUI often depend on the severity of a DUI charge and whether it’s your first offense. But most of the time, a driver’s license suspension for 1-3 years is a guarantee.
How to Beat a DUI: 6 Ways to Challenge a Conviction
If you feel like you have been unfairly charged with a DUI conviction, there a number of reliable ways you can challenge this conviction. However, you must seek out legal counsel to help you build your case — check out this attorney for the expertise you need.
Here a few ways to beat a DUI:
1. By Proving There Was No Probable Cause for the Stop
In order to flag you down and pull you over, detain or arrest you, a police officer must have probable cause to do so. If they cannot prove their reasoning for stopping you, there is a chance the court will dismiss the case.
Probable cause hinges on a reasonable amount of suspicion that you are engaged in criminal activity, such as driving under the influence. If a police officer cannot support their suspicions, this suppresses all evidence collected during the stop. In other words, the DUI prosecution cannot use this evidence against you.
2. The Breath Test Was Faulty and Unreliable
Breathalyzer tests are known for being fairly unreliable and you can use this to your advantage to overturn a wrongful DUI charge. Some of the most common issues related to Breathalyzer tests include:
- Improper handling by police officers
- Certain physiological conditions such as acid reflux and GERD
- Malfunction of the instrument
- Neglecting to observe your condition or actions to determine whether the test is necessary
Another flaw of the Breathalyzer test is that it does not actually measure your blood alcohol content levels. Instead, it just measures the alcohol on your breath. This alone is a completely unreliable measure of a person’s cognitive function. These breath tests are also subject to a variety of outside influences that can lead to inaccurate readings.
3. A Rising Blood Alcohol Reading
Blood alcohol levels are tricky to read and interpret 100% accurately. But you may be able to overturn a DUI charge if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was higher when you took the test, versus when you were driving.
During the time you pull over, sit and wait for the officer to get the test ready, you BAC could have risen higher than it actually was while driving. This is because your blood alcohol may not have reached its peak absorption rate. By the time you have taken the test, the results will give you a rising blood alcohol reading.
In essence, this is inaccurate because your BAC was not that ”high” when you were driving. This can result in a falsely high BAC reading which can be used to bolster your case. A rising blood alcohol defense can be used in both blood and breath testing.
4. An Inaccurate Blood Test
Along with the Breathalyzer test, DUI blood testing is not always reliable, either. There are numerous factors that can taint the results of your blood test. Some of these include blood fermentation, contamination, or improper blood storage.
Depending on how your blood was collected and stored, you could have your BAC results excluded from the evidence used against you by the prosecution. Overall, this could result in the dismissal of your DUI charge.
5. An Inaccurate Field Sobriety Test
There are a plethora of reasons that field sobriety tests (FSTs) are not always used to assess the condition of a driver. They are notoriously unreliable and do not always accurately portray a person’s true cognitive function in the moment.
There are a few reasons for this:
- A person feels nervous and jittery due to officer intimidation
- It’s dark and the lighting is poor, impairing what an officer really sees
- Poor weather conditions can affect concentration
- Uneven surfaces and poor footwear can affect outcomes
- If a person is naturally uncoordinated this can also affect outcomes
Even the most stone-cold sober person could potentially fail a field sobriety test because of the above reasons. For this reason, you can dispute the accuracy and reliability of your FST if you believe the results do no portray your cognitive ability at the time.
6. Instances of Police Misconduct
There are certain situations where the conduct of a police officer can be used against them. So if you can demonstrate or have proof of poor police behavior, you could have your DUI charge dismissed.
Even if you were driving under the influence, you can still have A DUI charged overturned. This is because police procedures must be strictly adhered to at all times. For example, a police officer must read you your Miranda Rights if they intend to arrest you. Their police reports must always be accurate, Title 17 procedures must be complied with, and more.
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There are many other methods on how to beat a DUI, but the above mentioned tend to be the most successful. Bear in mind that it’s always important to find the right attorney to help build and support your case for the best outcome.
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