A motorist charged with drunk driving has a few different options for their defense. Some DUI defenses require more effort than others. State DUI and DWI laws differ and everyone’s case has different facts, so it may help to consult with a Florida DUI attorney.
Common Drunk Driving Defenses
Being convicted of a DUI could cause you to lose your license. You could also face mandatory fines and jail time. Although DUI charges may seem insurmountable, many DUI lawyers have been able to get their clients’ charges dropped or reduced by mounting the proper defense.
Your DUI lawyer will help you identify the issues in your case to create the best DUI defense available. DUI defense law professionals have identified the following as some of the most common and effective DUI defenses.
Driving Related Defense
In some states, you can’t be convicted of driving under the influence unless you were behind the wheel. Let’s say, for example, that you were asleep in a parked car in one of these states, your defense may be able to use this.
However, many states don’t require proof of actual driving for a DUI conviction. All the prosecution needs to prove is that you were “operating” or “in actual physical control” of a vehicle while intoxicated. You could be found guilty even if you weren’t driving.
Intoxication Related Defense
If you’re pulled over for suspicion of a DUI, then the officer will be looking for signs that demonstrate that you’re impaired. They may ask you to submit to a chemical test that can show how much alcohol or drugs are in your system. It’s also common for the police officer who made the arrest to testify at trial regarding observation of the driver’s impairment.
It’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more (.05% or more in Utah) and chemical test results can be used in court to prove the intoxication component of a DUI charge.
Your DUI defense can challenge your results by demonstrating that the results are unreliable because of some flaw in the testing procedure or represent an inaccurate measurement of the amount of drugs or alcohol at the actual time of driving.
Legal witnesses present at your arrest can help you fight a DUI conviction by testifying they saw things differently than the officer. Unfortunately, if the witness was a passenger in your car, the prosecution might argue that your witness is biased.
To beat a DUI charge, the defense might need to challenge the significance of an officer’s observations. For some observations, you may be able to prove that fatigue or physical impairments lead to poor driving performance.
DUI Arrest Related Defense
When police don’t use proper arrest procedures, it can sometimes provide you with a good defense to a DUI charge. If the police don’t follow the law when stopping or arresting you, the judge can throw some evidence out at the behest of the defense.
The police need probable cause to stop your vehicle and arrest you for a DUI. DUI checkpoints and roadblocks are an exception to the probable cause rule. However, if the police pull you over without a legitimate reason, a judge is likely to decide that all the evidence subsequently obtained is inadmissible in court.
Talking to an Attorney
Having some basic information about DUI defenses could help you protect your rights, but skillful DUI law professionals agree that there’s no substitute for the help of a knowledgeable attorney. If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, get in touch with a qualified DUI attorney today.