Just because a law enforcement official has accused you of drunk driving, it doesn’t mean you are guilty. Judges throw out DUI cases for a number of reasons. Here are three of them.
The stop was illegal
Police officers cannot simply pull over anyone for any reason at all. They must have reasonable suspicion a driver is breaking the law or about to put someone in danger before they can legally pull that driver over.
If you were charged with DUI, a good attorney can scrutinize all of the facts involved in your case, including the legality of the stop. If police pulled you over illegally or on false pretenses, any evidence obtained from the stop may be deemed inadmissible in court.
The chemical evidence is flawed
If you took a breath test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and blew higher than .08, it may seem like your fate is sealed. This is not necessarily the case. Evidence from breath tests may not be as accurate as police officers would like you to think. Reasons for contesting this evidence include:
- The machine was not accurately calibrated
- The person who administered the test was not qualified
- The chemicals used to measure BAC were tainted or stale
The New York Times exposed some of the flaws in these tests in a well-read feature. The phenomenon of breath tests derailing DUI cases is not rare. In fact, during one twelve-month period, judges in New Jersey and Massachusetts invalidated more than 30,000 of these tests.
You failed the field sobriety test while sober
It is possible for a perfectly sober person to fail a field sobriety test. Certain medical conditions can make it impossible to maintain the balance and muscle control required to ace the one-leg stand and stop-and-turn portions of the test. The same holds true for the horizontal gaze test that is intended to detect involuntary eye movements. There are other reasons a sober person may fail the test, including the officer failing to clearly communicate the directions.
Before pleading guilty to drunk driving, remember that there are proven methods for fighting even the toughest cases.