If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, it may seem as though the state holds all the cards. In fact, the state holds the burden of proof, which can be a very heavy load. By attacking the evidence they have against you, you can make their job even tougher. Here are three lines of attack that often prove successful in DUI cases.
Challenge the legality of the stop
A good place to start when building a DUI defense is to carefully look at the stop. Police officers cannot simply pull you over for no good reason at all. They must have reason to believe you are committing a crime or about to place yourself or another person in danger. If they lack such “reasonable suspicion” and pull you over anyway, it is they who have broken the law.
Examine the chemical test evidence
When a DUI suspect blows .08 or higher in a breath test machine, it’s game over, right? Not necessarily. These tests are notoriously unreliable for a number of reasons, including:
- They may be operated by untrained personnel
- They may be improperly calibrated
- There may be gaps in the chain of custody of test evidence
- Chemical solutions used to measure blood alcohol concentration may be tainted or expired
Close scrutiny must be applied to breath tests as well as blood and urine tests. Failures on the part of machines and law enforcement personnel can get this evidence thrown out of court.
Question the field sobriety test
Another element of a DUI arrest an experienced attorney will examine is the field sobriety test. While these tests may detect intoxication, there are many other reasons a suspected drunk driving can fail. The challenging physical tasks are very difficult for people who suffer from balance problems, recent injuries, obesity and other conditions. Other problems with these tests occur when officers fail to clearly give the instructions or when suspects fail to understand them.
These are only three ways to fight DUI charges in Illinois. There are many more a skilled attorney can employ on your behalf. If law enforcement officials have accused you of driving under the influence, don’t give up without a fight.