Drunk Driving Lawyer
When an officer pulls over a person on suspect of a DUI, a variety of tests may be carried out to determine if the driver is intoxicated. Unfortunately, these evaluation methods are not completely accurate in all cases. It is possible for a person to be wrongfully arrested for a DUI, when in reality there was an external factor as to why he or she failed a specific test. Law enforcement may not have had probable cause to pull a driver over in the first place, or was so hasty to make an arrest that they didn’t read the person’s body language correctly. Here are examples of potential defense strategies that a drunk driving lawyer Fairfax, VA trusts may use to help protect someone unjustly accused of driving while drunk:
#1 Lack of Probable Cause for Stop
An officer must have a legitimate reason to halt your vehicle, detain, or arrest you for suspicion of driving under the influence. If there was no probable cause or evidence, the case may be dismissed entirely in court. An officer must have pulled you over for more obvious reasons than simply having a hunch you were driving under the influence. If the officer had unlawfully pulled you over, then any evidence acquired during your arrest may be suppressed –which means it cannot be used against you in court.
#2 Faulty Breathalyzer Tests
If an officer fails to calibrate or performs the breathalyzer inaccurately, the results may come out incredibly flawed. Malfunction of the test, physiological conditions of the accused, and improper use may cause the person to seem guilty when they are not actually intoxicated.
While breath testing is one of the most common methods in evaluating a person’s BAC, this doesn’t directly measure the alcohol in their bloodstream. Instead, it measures how much alcohol is present on the breath first, and then converts that to estimate the alcohol in the blood. Thus, using a breathalyzer can be a faulty way to determine if a driver is legally drunk.
#3 Mishandling of Blood Sample
If the officer requests that you take a DUI blood test, there are a few ways that the result may be incorrect. The sample may have been tainted due to blood fermentation, improper storage, or blood contamination. By talking with an attorney who is knowledgeable in criminal defense strategies, he or she can investigate whether your blood test had been properly handled.
#4 Unreliable Field Sobriety Tests
The few tests included in a field sobriety assessment, are much less accurate at detecting impairment due to alcohol than people may realize. Despite officers using it quite often when evaluating level of intoxication, data suggests that these tests are only around 65-77% accurate.
Poor performance on a field sobriety test can be due to insufficient lighting, bad weather, uneven surfaces, poor footwear, and a naturally uncoordinated person. From the officer’s perspective, any mistakes made when doing the following behaviors, may be deemed a sign that the driver is drunk:
- Walking along a line in the road, heel-to-toe for 9 steps
- Turning after 9 steps and walking back to starting position
- Looking at your feet
- Turning around slowly with arms outwards
- Counting out loud either up or down
- Slowly moving to touch your nose when arms are straight out
Thanks to Dave Albo – Attorney for their insight into criminal defenses for DUI arrests.