7 Ways to Defend Yourself Against a DUI Charge

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7 Ways to Defend Yourself Against a DUI Charge

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s important to take the matter seriously from the outset. You might think that there’s no chance of defending yourself in court and that you should simply admit to the charge and take the consequences. However, doing so can have disastrous consequences. Instead, it’s important to realize that there are many defenses that have been successfully used against drunk driving charges. Be sure to find a qualified DUI attorney in your state. He or she might use one of the following defenses to help you win your case.

No Probable Cause for the Initial Stop

If there was no probable cause for the initial stop, your charge can be thrown out even if you were driving under the influence. In order to pull you over, your driving behavior has to be such that an officer would have probable cause to suspect you of drinking and driving. Without that, you might have a defense against the charge.

Medical Condition Cause a False Positive

You might not know this, but certain medical conditions can cause mouth alcohol situations. For instance, acid reflux, or GERD, can cause acid from the stomach to come up into the mouth. That alcohol can mask the breath sample and create a false positive on breathalyzer tests. If you weren’t drinking, or you don’t believe the test was accurate, and you have a medical condition that could have caused a false positive, you might have a solid defense.

Dietary Restrictions Caused a False Positive

Similarly, sometimes the diet you eat can cause a false positive. If you’re on a diet that restricts your carbohydrate intake, you’re more likely to get a false positive reading on a breathalyzer test. Why? Because when you burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates, you create ketones. When ketones are eliminated through the body via breath or urine, they turn into isopropyl alcohol, which can fool both a urine and a breath test.

Unreliable or Defective Equipment

Breathalyzer tests only work if the device works, and those devices have to be calibrated on a regular basis in order to provide accurate readings. If you’re convinced you shouldn’t have had a positive reading but you did, you can request that your DUI attorney look into whether or not the device was working properly. Usually, a representative from the device company has to come to your trial and substantiate the state of the device that was used to test you. If they don’t show up or they can’t substantiate the validity of the test, your charge might be dismissed.

Charged Based on Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests, such as walking in a straight line, are notoriously unreliable. Many factors can lead to inaccurate results. For instance, if you’re on a slope that could cause some people to appear off-balance when they’re not. Noise from cars going by can make officers think a person either isn’t cooperating or is too incoherent to follow their directions when really the person just didn’t hear them. There are so many things that make field sobriety tests unreliable that being charged just on the basis or mostly on the basis of your field sobriety test results is usually easily defendable in court.

You Weren’t Driving

Not only do officers at the scene have to prove that you were under the influence, they also have to prove that you were driving. Being drunk in a car is not the same thing as being drunk while driving a car. If it was, nobody could ever get a ride home when they were intoxicated. Therefore, if you weren’t driving the car or they can’t prove that you were driving it, you might have a defense.

Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)

This is a defense you might never have heard of before. Did you know that all electronic devices, or nearly all, are susceptible to radio frequency interference? AM and FM radios, police radar units, dispatch stations, and other equipment that police officers use all throw off interference that could disrupt the results of the breathalyzer test, since most breathalyzers are also electronic devices. RFI interference, then, might also be a defense your attorney uses to help defend you in court.

There are other reasons you might be able to defend yourself against a drunk driving or DUI charge, as well, including police misconduct. However, it’s important to know that a DUI charge is never a trivial matter and always requires the expertise of a DUI attorney in your area. Make sure to seek out a qualified and experienced DUI lawyer who can help defend you against, and possibly overturn, your DUI charge. Your future depends on it.

 

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