Being arrested on a DUI charge can bring your life to a perceived halt. It’s true; a DUI can have significant consequences for your future. But remember, an arrest is not a conviction—and defense is possible. Even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test was above the limit, there is hope. Drug tests can be unreliable if you take prescription medication or have other mitigating circumstances, and your attorney can argue this in court. Without a completely reliable test, the definition of impaired rests with the police officer, and humans are fallible.
The circumstances of your case will stipulate which defense is appropriate for your situation. An experienced DUI attorney can advise you on what’s right for you.
7 common DUI defenses
- Improper stop: Attorneys argue this common defense when the officer allegedly lacked probable cause for the initial traffic stop.
- Administration or accuracy of the field sobriety test: The court may rule an arrest invalid if the officer improperly administered a field test or it was inaccurate. For example, the horizontal nystagmus (HGN) test is frequently challenged.
- Administration or accuracy of a portable breathalyzer test: In this instance, the attorney challenges the way the police officer administered the test or argues that there were mitigating factors, such as vomiting or upset stomach. The defense can also argue that the breathalyzer was improperly calibrated and maintained.
- Administration or accuracy of standard breathalyzer test: This defense can involve arguments over the administration of the test, mitigating factors or improper calibration and maintenance. It is very similar to the portable breathalyzer defense—only it pertains to the more accurate test administered at the police station.
- Administration or chain of custody of the blood test defense: In this defense, the attorney argues that the medical professional who administered the blood test incorrectly or someone mishandled the test during the chain of custody.
- Rising BAC: This defense claims that the driver was under the BAC while driving, but it rose during the traffic stop and testing.
A DUI arrest is not a pre-determined conviction. There are options for defense in many circumstances and exploring those options could make all the difference for your future.