Defenses For A DUI Charge
A Wisconsin man recently convicted of his tenth DUI faces approximately 12 years in prison. When he was stopped by police he insisted that the reason his breath smelled of alcohol was because he had eaten beer battered fish. After he was arrested and taken to a hospital for a blood draw, the man threatened to sue the police because taking the blood was against the man’s religion. The police drew the blood anyway.
As far as DUI defenses go, the unsuccessful beer battered defense is not the strangest defense that has been raised, both successfully and unsuccessfully. There are many ways to approach a DUI defense, and they all generally involve the circumstances of law enforcement’s initial contact, administering field sobriety tests, or subsequent testing for a person’s blood/breath alcohol level.
Even though most DUI’s start with a law enforcement officer observing a person allegedly driving erratically or in violation of the law, there are some instances where the officer can approach a driver before the driver even starts driving. If the officer finds you asleep in your car, even if the car is not running, you can still be arrested for a DUI because you may be found to be in “actual physical control” of your car. Depending on factors such as the location of your car keys, and the ease with which you could have started the car, you may have a legal defense to the charge.
Another approach to defending a DUI charge is to attack the validity of the Breathalyzer test or other roadside-field sobriety tests that are conducted before a person is arrested on suspicion of DUI. This can include challenging both the test results and the manner in which the test was given. There are certain procedures governing how field sobriety tests are to be administered and if the police did not follow the correct procedures, the results of the test can be thrown out of court. Along the same lines, a person can challenge the observations of the police officer as to his or her behavior at the time of the arrest. This may be done through witness testimony, or video if available. If the results of the field sobriety test can be excluded from the trial, or the testimony of the police officer discredited, you have a better chance at winning at trial or a better chance of the DUI charge to be reduced.
Further, if the police acted illegally in stopping a person without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, the evidence resulting from that stop or arrest can be challenged on constitutional grounds. If the challenge is successful, then the entire DUI charge usually is dismissed as the State would have no evidence to use against you.
Contact An Experienced Clearwater DUI Attorney
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DUI or is facing a license suspension hearing, you need an experienced DUI attorney representing you and fighting for you to keep your license and keep you out of jail. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can advise you of the best defense for your case. Contact the Clearwater DUI attorneys at Roman & Roman, P.A. for professional help with your case.