Getting pulled over for a DUI will certainly ruin anyone’s day. Even if you have been drinking earlier in the day or night, and even if you do test at 0.08 or higher when taking a breathalyzer test, it doesn’t automatically mean you should be convicted of drunk driving. The process of testing for and being brought in on a DUI charge is complicated. It’s not always the easiest to plead guilty especially in light of the lasting consequences that are associated with a DUI conviction as I have previously talked about. You may have a chance of getting your charges lowered or completely dropped depending on the circumstances. Here are several ways you can try to defend your charge:
- The reason for the stop might be invalid – Typically a DUI stop begins as a violation of another kind. If an officer sees you speeding, running a stop sign, or driving erratically, they can stop you and ask you to perform field sobriety testing after noticing you appear to be intoxicated. However, if the initial cause of the stop is invalid, all of the evidence gathered will also be inadmissible. Make sure your attorney understands and investigates the initial stop, as it could make a difference to your DUI defense.
- Field sobriety testing was inaccurate – The field tests given are not always indicative of intoxication to the extent that normal faculties are impaired. You may have a medical issue that would prevent you from properly performing these exercises or the conditions prevented a reliable test from happening. Defenses against a DUI charge could be that the officer performing the test wasn’t properly trained. Let’s also not forget that for the majority of people, these exercises are difficult to perform even when not impaired because we don’t stand on one leg with our arms at our sides and we don’t walk heel to toe in our everyday lives.
- The results of a breath test can be flawed – Even if you are over the legal limit when the breath test is performed, it does not necessarily mean you were intoxicated when you were driving. The equipment itself could have been faulty or the officer may have failed to follow the proper procedures when administering the test. It’s easy to see how an improperly maintained machine or human error shouldn’t be the determining factor in life changing charges toward a person.
If you look at your Driver’s License, you will that you have agreed that, “Operation of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law.” If you decide to refuse to perform the field sobriety tests and/or the breath test, you will be arrested and you will be subject to losing your license, administratively, for a period of time. However, you may have viable defenses to your criminal case and administrative hearing where there are no test results to prove intoxication to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired as required by Florida law.
Because DUI law is complex, it is imperative that you seek legal advice if you have been arrested on DUI charges. For help with your defense, The Law Offices of Sabrina Puglisi are here to help. But, better yet, just take an Uber next time you go out drinking.