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13 DUI Defence Strategies

Updated on August 18, 2013

In Some Cases There is a DUI Defence.

Driving under the influence (DUI) s one of the more serious criminal charges that the average generally law abiding citizen can be charged with. DUI charges can result in loss of license, jail, insurance increases and in some cases use of an in-car breathalyzer ignition interlock. The person charged and convicted has to pay for the installation of the device which is over $1,300.00 Persons charged think there is no defence but your attorney can defend you in many cases. Some people who get stopped should be stopped and thrown in jail. Where many people get caught however is in the “one too many“ category or in some cases the DUI is out of your control. For instance a bartender may be pouring a little on the generous side to get tips or is too busy to pour accurately. You think you have had 2 drinks but in reality it is four. While I don’t advocate drinking and driving I do believe in fairness in the law.

In my research for this article I came across some defenses for DUI

  • The bartender commonly over pours. You have been told that the human body processes 1 oz of alcohol every hour but you didn’t know the bar commonly over pours.
  • The person supplying you with alcohol was ordering doubles and you didn't know it. You had three drinks but in reality it turned out to be equal to 6 or more.
  • Did you use mouthwash just before a breath test or you have any contact with products that contain alcohol such as a hospital or cosmetics plant where alcohol is used. (creams, ointments, lotions)
  • Your drink was spiked such as with a drug and you didn’t comprehend what had happened.
  • The police officer did not have a valid reason to stop you
  • The police officer did not follow proper procedures when questioning you
  • The police officer did not inform you of your rights immediately after arrest or there was a delay.
  • Proper procedure was not followed at the police station to give another sample on a machine.
  • A second sample at the police station was not given (I.E. one field test and 2 station tests)
  • There were radio transmissions from the room used during breath tests (such as an officer answering a call on the radio)
  • The breath technician was not properly trained or did not follow procedures.
  • The breathalyzer equipment was not calibrated or calibrated improperly.
  • The control sample was not maintained at the proper temperature

Talking to the Police

In interviewing a police officer some time ago I asked how the police close so many cases. His answer in short was people give themselves up in questioning. I then met two former detectives who were teaching a course on interviewing skills and asked if they ever had anyone not answer their questions (i.e. totally not interact) and their answer was only one case in all of their experience.

Knowing this you do have a right to keep quiet and when an officer says “it will go easier on you if you tell the truth” or “I asked you a direct question now answer me” or “this is just a conversation and you can leave at the end” it is a ploy to gain a confession. Don’t lie but just consider not answering any question and invoking your rights to avoid self incrimination.

Your attorney should know the make and model of the equipment being used to test for both the field test and the in-station test. Suppliers of alcohol testing equipment are reluctant to publicize their equipment’s short comings and in order to validate some arguments you may need to hire a forensic toxicologist who has had training from the manufacturer or supplier.

There have been numerous cases where breathalyzer tests have been disqualified due to calibration errors. Below is one example.

http://articles.philly.com/2011-03-24/news/29181829_1_breathalyzer-machines-dui-cases-convictions

Now you may think you can beat a DUI but there is also the idea that drinking and putting yourself and others at risk is morally reprehensible. The following is a poignant look at DUI from the Transport Accident Commission of Australia (TAC)

So in conclusion if you have been charged with a DUI you are best off not to admit anything to the police and have an attorney who has great experience in handling DUIs handle the case for you. Get recommendations from friends and check around to see who is the best. Sometime your best option is to ask for a reduced sentence. But most of all avoid driving if you are impaired.

Disclaimer

Please note the information I have offered is of a general nature. I am not an attorney. I am a researcher who has done some preliminary research into this topic. You are advised to contact an attorney to obtain a legal defence. The Barr Association in Each jurisdiction has a referral service to assist you in finding a lawyer with the qualifications you need.

© 2013 JanMaklak

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