An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious matter. If you're convicted, you could lose your driver's license, have to pay high fines, and even serve jail time or lose your job.
While you may feel as if there is nothing you can do after a DUI arrest, you can fight the charges and get the best possible outcome in your situation if you work with a DUI lawyer. While the strategy for your case will depend on what happened, there are some common DUI defenses that have proven to be effective in court.
No Attorney Contact Opportunity
You have the right to an attorney at a specific point in the DUI investigation process: after you've been arrested and before you were questioned. You don't have this right when you are being pulled over, however, or when you are being asked to submit to breath or chemical tests to check your blood alcohol levels.
Once you are officially arrested and taken to the police station for questioning, you have the legal right to representation. This right is very important. If you were refused the right to an attorney after you were arrested, your DUI lawyer can use this refusal as part of your defense.
Breath Test Errors
While breathalyzers are commonly used by law enforcement, these machines are not infallible. Breath test devices must be cleaned, calibrated, and inspected regularly; otherwise, they could produce false readings.
Other conditions present during the test can also cause incorrect breathalyzer readings. Alcohol that is left over in the driver's mouth, for example, can cause an inflated reading. Some medical conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), skewer breath test readings because of how they impact the body.
Your DUI attorney will work with a forensic toxicology expert to review your breath test readings if there's reason to believe yours were not accurate at the time of arrest.
Illegal Car Stop
Legally, you can only be stopped by police if the officer has a reason to believe you're violating traffic law. In a DUI case, valid reasons could include the officer noticing you were swerving or driving erratically, for example.
If you were stopped by an officer who did not have a valid reason to suspect you of breaking a law, your attorney can file to have any evidence obtained against you because of that stop thrown out of your case.
Don't wait until after your case is well underway to contact a DUI lawyer for help. The sooner the attorney is on your case, the more time they will have to review it and prepare your defense.