Have you recently failed a DUI test? Don’t panic—your case doesn’t end there. The assistance of a good DUI lawyer may help you avoid a DUI conviction or significantly reduce the penalties. The arresting officer is human, and the tests are mostly subjective. This leaves a lot of room for error. A good DUI attorney will examine all these areas by questioning the legality of the arrest, finding flaws in the testing methods, and more.
1 – Challenging the breathalyzer results.
If your DUI test involved a breathalyzer or breath test, your lawyer can call the method into question. While many DUI tests have common sources of error, breathalyzers are particularly fickle; they can be thrown off when you eat a dessert made with liqueur, when you breathe irregularly, if you work with gasoline or cleaning fluids, and even if you have diabetes. Your attorney may be able to pinpoint a source of error for your breath test, or prove that your breathalyzer test does not meet the appropriate scientific standards for a DUI conviction.
2 – Finding issues with testing.
Were the machines or tests used to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) functioning properly? Were the records maintained properly? Your attorney can look into the matter and see if your DUI test results were potentially skewed or affected by a mistake in the process.
3 – Disputing the field sobriety test.
Field sobriety tests are among the least reliable indicators of sobriety. A sober person with certain health conditions or disabilities can fail any of these tests. Similarly, a senior citizen, an overweight person, or any person who generally doesn’t exercise much can fail physical test, even when sober. Even officers, who practice these tests regularly, often fail them when asked to perform them in front of a jury. If your arresting officer is relying mainly on field sobriety tests as evidence, the judge may rule that the results are inadmissible, meaning they can’t be used against you in court.
4 – Showing a lack of reasonable suspicion.
Police officers need reasonable suspicion to stop you in the first place, like if you were weaving, driving too slowly, or forgetting your turn signals. Your attorney may be able to prove that your “suspicious” behavior was caused by something else, or that the officer’s reason for stopping you was not enough to suspect a DUI offense.
5 – Rejecting probable cause.
Police officers in Georgia need probable cause to arrest you for DUI. That means based on their interactions with you, they must have reason to believe you were driving less safely due to intoxication or that your BAC was at least .08. If your attorney can prove the arresting officer’s observations were not enough to show impairment, you may have a solid defense for your DUI. Because BAC does not have the same effect on everyone, you may also be able to argue that your BAC did not make you a less safe driver.
6 – Proving duress.
If the arresting police officer forced you to perform a voluntary test, or phrased the request in a way that made you think it was mandatory, your attorney can bring up the argument of duress. This means you were made to perform the test against your will, which can prevent your test performance from being used against you.
7 – Claiming illegal searches.
When officers perform pat-downs, they must have a reasonable belief that you present a danger to them and others. They also cannot perform unreasonable searches on your vehicle without consent. Your lawyer may be able to argue that you didn’t provide consent or that the arresting officer had no good reason to search you, which may remove any evidence that was found in the search.
8 – Requesting the officer’s records.
Your attorney may be able to find several possible defenses in the arresting officer’s records. For one, you may be able to argue that your officer did not have the proper training to administer a field sobriety test. Documents like the officer’s disciplinary records or 911 call records may also offer some useful insight.
As you can see, you’re not doomed the moment you fail a DUI test. This is only a small sample of the dozens of possible defenses you can use against a DUI charge. Your best defense will depend on the facts of your case, which you should discuss with an attorney. Contact the experienced lawyers at Savannah DUI. We will analyze your case and devise the best possible strategies to overcome your charges.