Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious charge that can have life-changing penalties if you’re convicted, such as losing your license, facing mandatory fines, and going to jail. It may sound daunting, but an experienced DUI lawyer can help build a defense to prove your innocence or lessen your sentence.
The best ways to defend against DUI fall into one of these categories:
- You weren’t intoxicated.
- Your driving wasn’t impaired.
- The officer who arrested you didn’t follow proper procedures.
- You weren’t driving.
Here’s a closer look at 10 ways you can fight a drunk driving charge:
- You drove badly, but you didn’t drive drunk. Perhaps you were driving erratically or poorly, but your attorney can argue that you were still sober. This may lower the DUI to a reckless driving charge.
- You showed symptoms of intoxication but were not drunk. Red eyes, slurred speech, a flushed face, and an unsteady gait are not enough to prove a DUI. After all, these are also symptoms of allergies, fatigue, or other illnesses.
- The officer did not conduct field sobriety tests (FSTs) correctly. FSTs are unreliable and tend to sway toward the prosecution. Your criminal defense lawyer may point out other issues at play, such as nerves, fatigue, tightly fitting clothes, or flat feet.
- The officer did not observe you for 15 minutes. If you burped or regurgitated shortly before a breathalyzer test, “residual alcohol mouth” may have caused a falsely elevated result. The 15-minute observation period aims to prevent this. If the officer skipped this protocol, your lawyer can use that in your defense.
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC) rose above the legal limit after you stopped driving. If your BAC was barely over the limit when you submitted to a breath test, your DUI attorney may argue that you were still legal to drive while behind the wheel.
- You were not mentally impaired. Officers routinely test for physical impairment but not mental impairment. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may demonstrate other reasons for physical signs resembling DUI that still left you mentally alert enough to drive.
- A medical condition falsely inflated your BAC. Hypoglycemia, diabetes, or a high protein diet can lead to false breath test results—and an unfair DUI charge.
- You were unable to consult an attorney during the investigation. If you were denied this right, your DUI case might be dismissed.
- You were pulled over illegally. An officer cannot stop a motorist on a “hunch” that they might be drunk, such as while leaving a bar late at night. Your defense attorney may argue that the officer had no legal right to pull you over.
- You were not in physical control of the vehicle. If you were merely “sleeping it off” in a parked car and not actually driving, you have a solid defense against DUI.
Just because you’re charged with driving under the influence doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. Defend yourself with help from Richards & Richards Law Firm in Ogden, UT. Our criminal defense attorneys have over 30 years of experience helping our clients fight drunk driving and drug possession charges. Contact us at (512) 461-4836 to discuss your case with us for free.