4 Common DUI Defenses

Posted on: 21 May 2015


There are a number of different defenses that you have at your disposal when arguing against a DUI or DWI charge. Although there are a number of different affirmative arguments you have at your disposal, it common to argue that the officer who pulled you over made some form of a mistake during your sobriety tests, ticketing and arrest. This brief article will go over 4 common DWI or DUI defenses that are made in this vein. Although the list is far from exhaustive, it will give you some sense of what kind of argument your attorney can make in your case. Learn more by talking to a professional.

Improper Stop

Arguing that you were stopped improperly is a common defense that is used by attorneys while defending a DWI or DUI case. With this type of argument, the defense will argue that the officer who pulled you over lacked probable cause for pulling you over. There is, of course, a burden of proof that is placed upon the defense in this situation. For example, if you were not speeding and the officer said the reason he pulled you over was for speeding.

Public videotapes of the officer pulling you over are generally necessary in these types of case. Otherwise, the case will usually devolve into a case of hearsay, putting your word against an officer's. If it is proven that the officer did lack probable cause, chances are, you will be let off the hook.

Improper Administration Or Accuracy Of Field Sobriety Test

Bad field sobriety tests are also another very common defense that are used in DWI or DUI cases. Once again, the onus of proof sits with the defense in this case. The administration of a field sobriety test must be properly performed on the offending intoxicated driver, or else the results will be considered inadmissible, and charges against the offending driver will be dropped.

There are two strategies that the defense will use in these cases: one is to show that the officer has not been properly trained or is inept in performing his or her duties as administrator of a field sobriety test. Secondly, the defense can argue that the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), which judges the accuracy and level of dilation of your eyes during intoxication, was improperly administered or was somehow compromised.

Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration

In these cases, the defense will argue that the defendant was actually below the blood alcohol content (BAC) level when he or she began driving, but during the course of the drive, the alcohol had time to adequately absorb into the bloodstream, causing his or her BAC to rise.

During these cases, witnesses are usually brought in that saw the actions of the defendant prior to being pulled over, or prior to he or she operating the vehicle. They must prove that the defendant's actions were not correspondent with a person who was intoxicated, but rather, were the actions of sober individual who was, and felt, competent to drive.

Improper Administration Or Accuracy of Breathalyzer Test

Another very common defense is the improper administration or accuracy of a portable breathalyzer test. In these cases, the defense will usually argue one of two things. First, that the officer who administered the breathalyzer test was not properly trained or did a particularly poor job at properly administering the test. The defense is free to use public records of the officer's past experience of administering such tests. Secondly, the integrity of the machine may be attacked. If the defendant had experienced indigestion, stomach problems or vomiting without ingesting alcohol, the accuracy of the machine may have been compromised.

Receiving a DUI or DWI can be a difficult experience, but hopefully, this article has prepared you for a few common defenses that your attorney has it or his or her disposal.