DUI lawyers often challenge the evidence presented in court by the arresting officer. This evidence may include testimony about how you were driving before you were pulled over, including symptoms such as weaving or swerving. Then, you can expect the police officer to testify about the results of field sobriety tests such as walking a straight line, standing on one leg, or saying the alphabet backwards. These subjective observations are one of the main reasons you should not submit to field sobriety tests if asked, but if you already have, a skilled DUI attorney may be able to fight them. There are very specific procedures which must be followed in order to administer a field sobriety test; if these rules are not followed precisely, the results are considered invalid.
It is more difficult for a DUI lawyer to fight the results of a blood or breath test, although it can be done. These tests are used as a more objective standard by which to judge a person's level of intoxication. It is prohibited to drive anywhere in the country with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. DUI defense lawyers can dispute the validness of this test based on the testing equipment used, as well as the time of the test in relation to the time you were pulled over, as both can affect the results. Many DUI cases are discharged after it is argued that the device used to test BAC has a weak track record.
In addition to arguing that the machine itself resulted in an improper BAC reading, DUI defense lawyers may also argue that the breath or blood exam results were incorrect for other reasons. Many lawyers use the “belch defense.” The idea behind this defense is “mouth alcohol contamination,” or the idea hat burping before the test is administered will raise the amount of alcohol detected on the breath. Because of this defense, police officers in many jurisdictions must watch the DUI suspect for at least twenty minutes before administering the test. Some medical conditions can also raise the amount of alcohol detected on the breath.
DUI attorneys can also be expected to bring up arguments about the way other evidence was collected. Police offers must observe proper regulations to acquire evidence, such as having a reason to pull you over. If this proper legal basis is not followed, the evidence collected during the stop may be inadmissible in court.
Consultation with a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in DUI cases is critical to determine the potential defenses that may apply in your situation. There are many procedures that police officer must follow when stopping someone on suspicion of DUI. There are also many things that you can say or do on the day of your arrest that can greatly affect the potential defense strategies presented by your legal counsel.
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Article Added on Monday, February 22, 2010
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