There are a number of factors that must be considered if you are charged with a DUI. The conduct of the arresting officer, the legality of your arrest, field sobriety tests, proper functioning test equipment, and correct handling of your evidence are just a few of the issues that can be raised during legal proceedings by your criminal defense lawyer.
In many situations, it is possible that several of these factors could work in your favor and result in the dismissal of your case.
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Below are a few examples of potential DUI defenses that can be used in your San Diego case:
I. Arresting Officer Defenses
A police officer must have probable cause to stop your vehicle. Often times, faulty driving such as a wide turn is not due to alcohol, but rather the result of fatigue or the distraction of talking on a cell phone, thus making the probable cause of the traffic stop unwarranted. Additional errors by an arresting officer may include the failure to read your Miranda rights.
II. Field Sobriety Testing Defenses
Several factors can lead to inaccurate field sobriety testing during a DUI traffic stop, among them:
- Wet or uneven surfaces
- Dark testing conditions further hindered by glaring flashlights or passing traffic
- Weather conditions such as rain, snow or wind
- Unstable footwear, such as heels, boots or dress shoes
- Anxiety, nervousness or anger upon being stopped
III. DUI Breath Test Defenses
Many different factors can call into question the reliability of the results of a breath test, including:
- The test was not administered correctly; for example, the administrator did not warm up the machine to the correct operating temperature or ensure an adequately deep lung sample.
- The test administrator was not properly trained or qualified.
- The equipment was not maintained properly, calibrated correctly or cleaned adequately.
- The result was affected by some characteristic of the driver, such as age; lung function; overall strength and size; a disease or condition such as asthma, diabetes, eardrum rupture, ketosis, emphysema, bronchitis, dental issues, fever or harelip; shock or trauma; certain types of special diets; or hiccoughing, burping, vomiting or hyperventilating. Even severe heartburn could have made the breath results unreliable.
- The test administrator did not continuously observe the driver for an adequate period before the test to prevent him or her from putting anything into his or her mouth that could affect the result. For example, a product used in the driver’s mouth, such as mouthwash or adhesive, or lip ointment could have affected the test result.
- The driver was exposed to a gas or vapor before the test that made it unreliable, such as during painting, floor sanding, varnishing or other activities that involve chemical exposure. In addition, an outside environmental cause in the surrounding air could trigger a high breath test result.
IV. DUI Blood Test Defenses
Blood tests are generally more accurate than a breath test; however, they can still be subject to flaws including:
- Clotting or coagulating.
- Improper administration of the blood test.
- Contamination of the test, such as swabbing the skin with alcohol.
- Formation of alcohol in the sample by fermentation between the time the sample is drawn and its analysis.
- A mix up in samples results in a wrong blood sample being analyzed.
- Unqualified blood test analyst.
To learn more about your DUI defense options, contact criminal lawyer Anna Yum today.