Whether it was your first time or fourth time, the penalties for a
DUI offense can be extremely severe. If you’ve been arrested for DUI
and want to fight the charge, you need to understand all of the defenses
that may be available to you.
By developing an effective defense strategy, your lawyer might help persuade
the prosecution to drop or reduce the charges, prevent your driver’s
license from being suspended, or even get an acquittal after a trial.
The defenses available vary depending on where the arrest occurs.
The following are the most common DUI defenses:
Bad driving does not mean intoxicated driving. A person’s driving pattern is one of the first things prosecutors
focus on during a DUI case. They often have the arresting officer testify
that you were driving in a manner “consistent with” someone
who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, according to
the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), cues based on
driving patterns are predictive of DUI only 35% of the time. Your lawyer
may rebut the evidence by having the officer testify about all of the
ways that you drove properly and safely.
Objective symptoms of intoxication are not the same as DUI. Another way to fight DUI charges is to challenge the prosecution’s
use of physical symptoms of intoxication—such as red eyes, slurred
speech, or the strong odor of alcohol on your breath—to argue that
you were “under the influence.” However, certain health conditions
can attribute to those symptoms. For example,
diabetics who are suffering from ketoacidosis have similar symptoms as those under
Field sobriety tests and preliminary alcohol tests are not accurate. The prosecution’s evidence may include field sobriety tests (FSTs)
and preliminary alcohol tests (PAS). Your attorney could argue that your
balance and coordination during FSTs were affected by your natural physical
coordination or nerves. Preliminary breath tests may not be properly calibrated
or administered, resulting in a false positive test score.
The arresting officer failed to follow proper procedures. If an officer fails to establish probable cause or reasonable suspicion
before making a DUI arrest, any evidence collected could be inadmissible
in court, resulting in the dismissal of your entire case.
If you were recently arrested for a DUI in Ventura County,
contact The Law Offices of Robert F. Sommers and schedule a
free consultation today.