DUI Charge Defenses

by mphtlaw on October 4, 2013

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(US law/generally) If you have been charged with a DUI and you feel that you were wrongly accused, there are ways to try to defend yourself against those charges. While it might be very hard to get out of a charge like this, you may be able to get the punishment lightened or even prove that you aren’t guilty. Since DUI charges are usually based on the officer’s perception of your state, rather than hard facts, there is hope when challenging their allegations. Here are a couple things to think about when getting your defense strategy together.

  1. When testing your blood alcohol level, the test can be made faulty by a number of things. A couple of those things that could influence your test are GERD or heartburn, mouth alcohol, taking certain medicine or using mouth wash, testing during absorption phase and your diet are just a couple of the many ways that your BAC test can be inaccurately high.
    1. GERD/Heartburn/Acid Reflux: If you suffer from any of these three problems, your condition can trick the Breathalyzer test into thinking that your BAC is higher than it really is. All three of these conditions allow alcohol to travel up from the stomach to the mouth and esophagus. When this happens, you have “mouth alcohol” which will cause your test results to be significantly higher than it should be.
    2. Taking medication or using mouth wash. We all know that mouth wash contains a high concentration of alcohol, therefore it makes sense as to why this would inflate the test results. Taking some medications can also mess up the test because Breathalyzer tests have a hard time telling the difference between some chemicals.
    3. Your diet. The things you eat can also affect your BAC test in a negative way. For instance, if you haven’t eaten much that day or if you are on a low carb, high protein diet your test can come up higher than it is supposed to.
    4. Another defense strategy against a DUI is to challenge the officer’s claims against you. There are several ways that the officer can mistake you being tired or nervous for being intoxicated. Below are a couple examples of this.
      1. Maybe their reason for pulling you over was that you were swerving or committed another normal traffic violation. A normal driving mistake isn’t grounds for a DUI. People swerve, speed, run red lights and stop signs every day – not just when they have been drinking.
      2. If the reason you were arrested is because you didn’t perform well during your field sobriety tests, you can also challenge that charge by giving innocent reasons for why you failed. It is completely normal to be nervous while taking a field sobriety test. Your nerves can have a serious impact on how you perform the tasks, causing you to do poorly. The officer also has nothing to compare your performance to. You may not have even been capable of passing while sober because of certain impairments. If you believe this is the case, you could get the DUI charges removed by pointing this out. Other things that can affect the outcome of your field sobriety test are uncomfortable footwear, the lighting at the test area and the weather.
      3. If you are taking medication that can make you drowsy or make your speech slurred, this is another way that the officer can make a mistake in judgment. There are several other factors that can cause you seem like you are under the influence when you aren’t.

By pointing out any of these flaws in the officer’s case, you can quickly turn the tables and hopefully prove that you aren’t guilty. Be sure to do research on what your rights are and talk to your lawyer about what is the best approach for your case. DUI’s carry a heavy punishment and will stay on your record for years, it is important to take the necessary steps in order to get the law on your side. Hopefully, some of these strategies can help your case.

At Miles Patterson Hansford Tallant, LLC, our clients’ success is critical to our survival. We’ve grown by leaps and bounds as we’ve connected with the community. Our friends and neighbors in Cumming, Georgia like our outstanding track record of success and the welcoming hometown atmosphere at our firm.

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