How can I contest the results of a breathalyzer test?
Each year, over 1.5 million people are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Being convicted of a DUI can have significant negative consequences. In the state of Arizona, DUIs are harshly punished, with offenders potentially receiving jail time, stiff penalties, drug or alcohol counseling, probation, community service, and loss of your driver’s license. In addition to these immediate consequences, a DUI could make it difficult for the person convicted to find or keep their job, scholarship, or professional license. Given the serious nature of a DUI conviction, it is critical that you mount a strong defense against the charges you face. Below, our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers outline four ways in which you could fight a DUI charge.
Challenge the Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety testing will often be introduced in court in an attempt to paint the defendant as intoxicated. Field sobriety tests must be carefully administered by local and federal guidelines or their reliability cannot be trusted. Further, some medical conditions can negate the reliability of these tests. Your attorney may elect to attack the field sobriety tests and have the evidence excluded.
Question the Initial Stop
The Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. To lawfully stop your vehicle, the officer must have reasonable suspicion. It is not enough that you were driving late at night or in the vicinity of bars. You need to have committed some traffic infraction. If the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop you, then all evidence gathered afterward should be deemed inadmissible.
Move to Suppress All Statements
It is common for people who have been arrested to make statements about how much alcohol they had consumed. These incriminating statements can be introduced at trial. However, if the arresting officer failed to read you your Miranda rights or obtain a valid waiver, then the statements should be suppressed.
Attack the Breathalyzer Results
Breathalyzer evidence often forms the main type of evidence introduced against you at trial. While breathalyzers can be a useful tool, they are at times inaccurate. Breathalyzer tests must be precisely administered and the machine itself must be carefully maintained as well as calibrated. Failure to adhere to these steps should result in the suppression of the breathalyzer evidence.
These are just a few of the many ways in which your criminal defense lawyer might help you to challenge the charges you face. Contact a DUI defense attorney to get started defending against your case today.
Posted in: DUI