If you’ve been arrested for DUI, your attorney may use one of these five common defenses to the charges. Though there’s no way to predict how a judge will rule, these DUI defense strategies have the potential to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
5 Common Defenses to DUI Charges
Every case is different, and your attorney will figure out the best defense strategy based on the circumstances of your case. With that said, here are five common defenses to DUI charges that your attorney may use; they may use one or more of these or a different defense strategy entirely:
- Breath alcohol testing is inaccurate
- Police made an illegal stop
- The field sobriety test is inaccurate or invalid
- Invalid or mishandled blood alcohol test
- Blood alcohol concentration increase after the stop
Here’s a closer look at each.
DUI Defense #1: Breath Alcohol Testing is Inaccurate
One way police officers test for drunk driving is by administering a breath alcohol test. This test measures the amount of alcohol in your system by measuring the amount of alcohol in your breath. However, there are a number of reasons why this test may not be accurate. For example, the machine may not have been properly calibrated, you may have had something in your mouth that affected the results, or you may have a medical condition that caused an inaccurate reading. If any of these are true in your case, your attorney may use this as a defense against DUI charges.
Related: The 8 worst mistakes you can make during a DUI stop
DUI Defense #2: Police Made an Illegal Stop
In order for an officer to pull you over and arrest you for drunk driving, they must have probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence. Probable cause is a reasonable belief that a crime has been or is being committed. If the officer did not have probable cause to pull you over, your attorney may be able to get the charges against you dropped.
DUI Defense #3: The Field Sobriety Test is Inaccurate or Invalid
Another way police officers test for drunk driving is by administering a field sobriety test. This test is designed to measure your coordination and balance, and usually involves tasks like walking in a straight line or standing on one leg. However, there are a number of reasons why this test may not be accurate. For example, you may have a medical condition that affects your balance, the surfaces you were walking on may have been uneven, or the instructions may not have been given correctly. If any of these are true in your case, your attorney may use this as a defense against DUI charges.
Related: 3 things you should do when police pull you over for DUI in Illinois
DUI Defense #4: Invalid or Mishandled Blood Alcohol Test
If you were arrested for DUI, you may have been asked to submit to a blood alcohol test. This test is designed to measure the amount of alcohol in your system by taking a sample of your blood. However, there are a number of reasons why this test may not be accurate. For example, the sample may have been mishandled, the chain of custody may have been interrupted, or you may have a medical condition that affected the results. If any of these are true in your case, your attorney may use this as a defense against DUI charges.
DUI Defense #5: Blood Alcohol Concentration Increase After the Stop
It’s important to remember that the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured by a breath, blood, or urine test is not necessarily the same BAC that was present at the time of driving. In some cases, the BAC may have increased after the stop due to factors like absorption from the gastrointestinal tract or production by the body. If this is true in your case, your attorney may use this as a defense against DUI charges.
Related: What’s the penalty for DUI in Illinois?
When it comes to defending against DUI charges, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who can evaluate the facts of your case and develop the best possible defense strategy for you.
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