You are aware that you are facing a grave offense if you get detained and charged with DUI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol). You risk losing your license, paying hefty fines, and going to jail.
Although the effort may seem helpless, you can defend yourself on DUI charges, especially when you get a good criminal defense attorney.
They can help you identify exceptions in your case. They can also get you the most effective DUI defenses.
But you should know how these defenses work and how to defend yourself. So here are some tips to show you how to defend yourself against DUI charges.
1. Hire a DUI Defense Attorney
One of the best ways to defend yourself is by seeking reputable federal criminal defense attorneys. They give you the best chance of winning your case in court.
Also, DUI defense attorneys have knowledge and capacity for the process. With no further ado, here are some roles they play during a DUI charge;
- Help you through your interrogation session with the police
- Make a good defense against proof like sobriety test and breathalyzer
- Help you avoid conviction by getting a good plea bargain if found guilty
- Give you the legal counsel of the do’s and don’ts
- Guide you on the laws of your state regarding the case
- Give a solid chance at winning
Thus your DUI defense attorney is the perfect shield you can get for yourself. But, it can only work with you being honest with the lawyer. Do not hide anything as it could reduce the chances of your winning.
2. Remain Silent
Usually, before the police arrest you and tell you your rights, they will ask you specific questions. But don’t be in a hurry to respond to questions from police officers during a DUI investigation.
For example, some questions include:
- Have you had a drink?
- How much drink have you consumed so far?
- What have you been drinking?
- Where are you headed?
- Where are you coming from?
- What was your most recent meal?
- When did you last get some rest? What time frame?
- Are you taking any prescription drugs?
- Is your car experiencing any mechanical issues?
- Do you suffer from any illnesses?
So politely declined to respond to these questions or any Field Sobriety Tests or the Portable Alcohol Sensor (PAS).
Also, if the officer requests your license, tag registration, and insurance, present it to them. Keep in mind that anything else you give the officer may implicate you in court.
Don’t forget that you may lose your right to speak to a DUI defense lawyer about the option of a blood or breath test after detention. As such, you should choose a blood test.
This is because it preserves a sample that you can later test independently. However, you could face harsh penalties if you refuse to take the test.
More so, ask to speak with a DUI lawyer right away, and when questioned, reply, “no comment.” But, again, speaking won’t help your cause at all.
Hence, don’t overshare with the police or provide them with the information they did not ask for. This will raise their suspicions and implicate you. So stay silent, be civil and cooperative! Only give vital information to the officer.
3. Inaccuracy of Breathalyzer:
According to the American Medical Association, when a person’s blood alcohol content reaches 0.05, they can become impaired. In other words, a person has 0.08 grams of alcohol in every 100 milliliters of blood if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08.
The legal limit for intoxication in the United States for a long time was 0.10. But recently, many states have adopted the 0.08 limit. This is because the Federal Government has made the States reduce the legal limit.
The most popular blood alcohol content (BAC) test is the DUI breath. But did you know? The DUI breathalyzers do not directly measure BAC. Instead, to calculate BAC, they multiply the amount of alcohol in the breath by a “partition ratio.”
However, the results may not always be accurate depending on factors including sex, body weight, breathing habits, body temperature, and hemoglobin concentrations.
Hence, taking a DUI breath test can result in a false positive. But don’t worry too much! A good DUI defense attorney can show how inaccurate the result of this test is to the court.
As a result, skilled criminal defense attorneys are fully aware of what to look for when evaluating a case for these defenses. Defenses involving the results of this test may also call for the testimony of a specialist witness. This specialist will be able to describe why the findings of the State’s tests are unreliable.
4. Avoid Field Sobriety Test
Another trap the police use to reduce your chances of winning is a field sobriety test. These tests include
- Walk & Turn,
- 1 Leg Stand,
- Finger-to-Nose Test,
- Watch-the-Pen Test
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus
The officer may request your driver’s license, proof of registration, and proof of insurance. But you are not compelled to submit to any field sobriety tests.
The officer can ask that you complete those tests so that they can record every mistake you made and use that information, if required, to establish at trial that you were, in fact, alcohol-impaired.
Thus you have to be careful and politely decline to take these tests. Besides, the police cannot force you to take these tests. And doing so provides the officer with more evidence to use against you.
The police may inform you that their main concern is ensuring your fitness for driving. It is a con, don’t do it. So in case you get arrested and charged to court, there will be no proof to back up your claims.
5. Have A Witness
In every court case, witnesses are essential. They can explain and say what exactly happened at the scene.
Thus, one of the best ways to challenge an officer’s observations is to bring in witnesses who were present during the arrest and saw things differently than the officer.
Also, they should be people you can trust to tell the truth. It is even better when such persons are seated in the car with you during such events.
6. Unlawful Stops By Officers
A driver cannot get detained until there has been a violation of the law. Also, the officers cannot stop you unless they have a reasonable and articulable reason to believe you violate a traffic law.
In every criminal case, it is the State’s responsibility to legally collect all evidence following the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.
The Fourth Amendment protects everyone against arbitrary searches and seizures. As such, a police officer cannot pull over a driver based only on a “hunch” or educated assumption.
Also, leaving a pub without driving is not a felony, nor is driving after hours. An officer must justify any subsequent seizure or evidence gathered by presenting an objective justification for the traffic stop.
In situations with no valid reason for the traffic stop, a DUI defense attorney might examine the case to determine if they should submit a Motion to suppress evidence.
Having a good defense for DUI charges may be tasking, but it is doable. You can get a good criminal defense attorney and present a solid case that will give you a sure win.
But before hiring an attorney, you must ensure to not give out information that will implicate you and make your case a hard one for the DUI defense attorney. So you must ensure to be very careful about the things you say while you ensure civility and cooperation with the officers.
However, after applying these tips and getting a win on your case, you should be more careful. And ensure that you use safety measures whenever you are driving.