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Are there ways to successfully defend against DUI charges?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Drunk Driving

People who are facing drunk driving charges have the right to present a defense against these charges.

There are several options that are possible for drunk driving charge defenses. As a defendant and their legal representative are considering how best to present their side, they should think about how each one may affect the potential outcome of the matter, in addition to any collateral consequences that may arise from a particular approach.

Challenging the traffic stop

Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle, such as erratic driving, a traffic violation, or other indicators of impaired driving. If the defense can prove that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion or that the stop was unlawful, any evidence obtained during the stop may be deemed inadmissible in court.

Questioning field sobriety tests

Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are commonly used by officers to assess a driver’s level of impairment. These tests, which include the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), walk-and-turn, and one-leg stand, are subjective and can be challenged on several grounds.

The defense may argue that the officer didn’t properly administer the tests or that the tests are inherently unreliable due to factors such as the driver’s physical condition, weather conditions or uneven road surfaces.

Attacking breathalyzer accuracy

The defense can question whether the breath device was properly maintained and calibrated according to Indiana State Department of Toxicology standards. They might argue that the officer administering the test wasn’t properly trained or that the test wasn’t conducted in compliance with required procedures.

Arguing rising blood alcohol levels

It takes time for alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream and reach peak levels. If a driver consumes alcohol shortly before being stopped, their BAC may continue to rise after the initial stop but before the breath test is administered. The defense can argue that the driver’s BAC was below the legal limit at the time of driving, even if it exceeded the limit at the time of testing.

Other defense strategy components, such as violations of the defendant’s rights, may also come into the picture. Defendants should work with a legal representative who can assist them with determining how to proceed with their defense in the strongest way possible, given their unique circumstances.