Getting arrested for DUI (or DWI) is serious business. You have a lot at stake. Every case presents a very real possibility of a Court fine, jail time, permanent criminal record, license suspension and sky high insurance rates. There are however legal and factual defenses to a DUI case that may be available to you. This article explains four of the numerous common defenses to DUI.
In every state in order to be convicted of DUI the State must be able to prove that you were the driver of a vehicle. In many cases this is easily established by the police pulling over a moving vehicle and arresting the driver. In some other cases though people are arrested for DUI after a vehicle registered to them is found to have been involved in a single car accident. People may be arrested for DUI hours later, and miles away from the accident scene. Upon being challenged in Court later the police can’t always establish the defendant was actually driving the car.
Some states require that police officers follow a set procedure when making a DUI arrest and that this process be videotaped. These procedures are not always going to be followed. Sometimes a videotape that should be made is not or it may be lost. If the set procedures required by your State’s DUI laws are not followed by the arresting officer this may provide a defense to the charge.
If your DUI charge is based on violation of a per se blood alcohol content (BAC), and your alcohol rate tested over the legal limit the procedure used in your test should be critiqued. If the testing procedure was not followed correct, and correct records not maintained, the State may not be able to admit the BAC results in Court. This may result in a DUI charge based solely on BAC reading being dismissed or otherwise reduced.
In other DUI cases the State may have to prove that your ability to drive was actually impaired. They will have to present enough evidence of impairment to convince a Court, beyond a reasonable doubt, of your impairment. Many times officer’s make arrests based on hunches, suspicion or an outright educated guess. If the officer does not have enough evidence to convince a judge or jury then you will be found not guilty.
The ramifications to a DUI arrest and conviction are serious enough so that every individual arrested should have their case reviewed by a DUI defense attorney. In addition to the four defenses discussed here there are many others, including roadblock procedures, probable cause for the stop, Miranda violations, field sobriety testing mistakes, breathalyzer error, involuntary intoxication, or medical evidence challenges to BAC results. A DUI defense attorney will review the complete circumstances surrounding a DUI arrest for factual and legal defenses.