Unfortunately, many individuals arrested for driving under the influence think that they have to simply accept their charges and suffer the penalties. It is important to understand that you have the opportunity to challenge the allegations and fight to have the charges dropped. In most cases, DUI arrests are made based on the results of the driver's field sobriety test or blood or breath test. Despite what law enforcement may want you to believe, these tests are not foolproof, and the results can be invalidated by a number of factors.
Field Sobriety Tests
The officer may have asked you to submit to this test to approximate your level of intoxication, but the results are highly subjective and can be skewed by such factors as:
- Your footwear
- Your age and physical health
- Distractions from the noise and lights of passing traffic
- The surface on which you performed the test, especially if it was slippery or covered with gravel
- The weather conditions
- The clarity of the officer's instructions
- Your ability to understand the English language
If you were arrested because of the results of your breath test, you may be able to challenge the charges if your BAC reading was affected by such influences as:
- The machine malfunctioned – these machines are not perfect, and can easily malfunction when they are not properly maintained, are out of date, or if they are defective.
- The officer failed to follow protocol – these machines are very sensitive, so officers are responsible to follow exact procedures when administering a test; otherwise, the results can be invalid.
- You hiccupped, belched, or vomited before the test – if you did any of these things before you were administered the test, your BAC reading could be higher than it actually is. Officers are supposed to observe drivers to ensure they haven't done this, or wait 20 minutes before administering the test if they have.
When you are accused of DUI based on blood test results, it is important to have your attorney investigate to determine if:
- The test was administered by a trained lab technician – proper protocol must be followed
- The technician cleaned your arm with an alcohol swab – this will influence the test results
- Plasma was tested rather than whole blood – plasma testing can artificially raise the amount of alcohol found in the blood
- The blood test kit was expired
- The chain of custody for the sample was broken
- The sample was improperly stored or mislabeled
If you are facing charges for intoxicated driving, our team is prepared to thoroughly assess your situation to help you understand your legal options, and we are ready to adamantly fight for your rights. Do not leave your driving abilities and personal freedoms to chance; call our team today to enlist powerful legal defense.