The ins and outs of DUI laws
"DUI" stands for "driving under the influence," and typically refers to criminal charges resulting from driving impaired by alcohol consumption. While the legal blood-alcohol limits vary from place to place, the protocols for roadside screenings are standardized and can produce damning evidence. This can make DUI charges very tough to beat; tough, but not impossible.
DUI lawyers use numerous strategies to establish reasonable doubt, and they typically revolve around making evidence inadmissible at the trial or showing that the arresting officer had no right to pull the accused driver over in the first place. Because DUI penalties and DUI fines can be prohibitively steep and leave a black mark on your criminal record for years, you should always fight DUI charges to the best of your ability and do whatever is necessary to avoid a conviction.
Defend Yourself Against DUI Charges
DWI and DUI laws are designed to comprehensively cover a full range of impaired driving situations, including alcohol as well as narcotic drug intoxication. Officers are entitled to administer roadside sobriety tests if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a driver has been consuming intoxicants, and the results of these tests can be extremely challenging to overcome in court.
To give yourself the best chance, it is important that you work with criminal defense lawyers with a proven track record of defending people accused of driving under the influence. Report the circumstances of the traffic stop in full. The reason why the officer pulled you over in the first place has proven extremely important in many successful defenses.
Depending on the circumstances and where you live, some of the defense strategies your lawyer may opt to pursue include:
- Illegal or unjustified stop of vehicle or person. Police officers need a specific and legally valid reason to believe that a crime has been committed in order to stop you.
- Inaccuracy or invalidity of field testing. Walk-and-turn and one-leg standing tests are nowhere near 100 percent accurate. Breathalyzers are also inaccurate gauges of sobriety in the overweight, senior citizens and in people with certain medical conditions. Officers giving breathalyzer tests must be qualified to do so, and even then, they must be administered absolutely correctly to be valid in court.
- Inconsistencies in police statements. Lawyers can also question the credibility of both verbal and written statements given by police officers if they have reason to do so.