Facing a Driving Under the Influence charge is frightening. It can result in the loss of your driving privileges, create challenges in finding employment or housing, and leave you with a criminal record. Fortunately, with the help of a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney, a conviction is not a foregone conclusion. Several defenses may prove to be effective in your case. In general, there are 10 ways our skilled attorneys at The Law Offices of Scott D. Henry could beat a DUI charge in California and you maintain your driving privileges.
Breathalyzers are designed to sample the air located deep in your lungs to determine your blood alcohol concentration. However, the device will also pick up any residual alcohol in your mouth. This could result from an alcoholic beverage or other sources, including recent dental work, Gerd, mouthwash or breath sprays, chewing tobacco, and certain medications. These sources may cause an erroneously high blood alcohol concentration and lead to a false DUI charge.
The reliability of breath tests has been debated for a long time. In challenging your breath test’s accuracy, we can assert the breathalyzer malfunctioned, it was incorrectly calibrated, or the officer did not administer the test properly. We may also assert your diet at the time impacted the results, or radio interference could have contributed to an inaccurate reading.
Low carb, high protein diets like the Atkins or Keto diets produce isopropyl alcohol in the body. This can also occur in individuals with Diabetes. When the body is low on carbohydrates, it burns fat for energy. This process contains ketones. When the ketones are broken down within the body, they turn into isopropyl alcohol. Breathalyzers are unable to distinguish between isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol, often leading to an inaccurate BAC.
It typically takes a body one to three hours to absorb alcohol. Often, a person is stopped for a DUI before their body has absorbed the alcohol. During the traffic stop, arrest, and transport to the police station, your body’s blood alcohol level can rise considerably. By the time the breath test is administered, the BAC level can be significantly higher and over the legal limit of .08. This means your BAC may have been within the legal limit at the time you were driving. As such, this defense strategy often proves successful at beating a DUI charge.
Inaccurate BAC results from blood testing are quite common. Numerous factors can cause inaccurate numbers, including improperly stored blood samples, contaminated blood samples, and blood fermentation.
California has strict regulations regarding blood alcohol concentration testing. These regulations dictate how samples should be collected, stored, and analyzed. If these regulations are not followed properly, the results are likely inaccurate and can be deemed inadmissible in court.
For law enforcement officers to stop you, they must have a valid reason to do so. They do not, however, have to have probable cause you were driving under the influence. A simple driving infraction may provide enough probable cause to pull you over.
If you were stopped lawfully, law enforcement would then need to provide a reason why they wish to administer field sobriety tests. This means that the officer must provide specific facts that led them to believe you were under the influence. Some examples may include the smell of alcohol on your breath, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and confusion. If a test were administered without showing signs of being intoxicated, our attorneys could challenge the evidence and move to suppress the test results in a DUI case.
Law enforcement officers are not always required to read you your Miranda rights. However, if you are arrested and in police custody, officers must read you your Miranda rights prior to the interrogation. If your Miranda rights were not read to you, your responses could be deemed inadmissible in a DUI case.
Studies have shown that field sobriety tests are only about 65% accurate in determining impairment. Several factors can lead to inaccurate findings, including an uneven surface, injuries, poor lighting, inadequate footwear, adverse weather conditions, and an individual’s level of fatigue, anxiety, or stress. As a result, this defense strategy is another effective way to beat a DUI charge.
Strict guidelines and requirements must be complied with when conducting a DUI checkpoint. If the checkpoint is not conducted properly, any evidence gathered as a result of the checkpoint can be suppressed. Some examples of the California DUI checkpoint guidelines include:
Being arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence is a terrifying and stressful experience. If you have been charged with a DUI, we urge you to call our office immediately. Our team could use one of these 10 ways to beat your DUI charge. For more information, reach out to our office today.