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The Basics of DUI Defense

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Many people who are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) wonder if there’s really any way they can defend themselves in court. After all, the police usually don’t arrest someone for DUI unless they’ve failed sobriety tests and a breath or blood test showed that they have an alcohol concentration over the legal limit. However, there are many ways to attack a DUI charge. Many of these are easily overlooked, but details are important in a DUI case.

DUI is a very technical and specialized area of criminal defense. There are many rules about how a DUI investigation is supposed to proceed. Some of these are created by statute and some are created by courts interpreting the law. Others are created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the organization that creates the training protocols for police officers learning to conduct DUI investigations.

NHTSA created the field sobriety tests that are used by police all over the country. NHTSA’s standardized tests are based on various studies that give these tests value as evidence. Thus, they must be done exactly the way they are supposed to be done in order to be probative. It’s not uncommon to find that officers did not administer these tests properly. Depending on the facts of the case, the NHTSA manual can also be used to cross examine officers about their observations in a way that’s helpful to your case.

Breath and blood tests can also be challenged, although this may require the testimony of an expert witness, as the attorneys of Leonardo Law Offices can explain. There are many variables that can cause a breath test to be inaccurate. Blood tests can also produce unreliable results. Many times, issues with blood tests can only be discovered by obtaining and scrutinizing the chromatograms produced for every test in the blood run (multiple blood samples are typically tested in the same “run”). There are also procedural and mechanical issues that can affect the admissibility of both breath and blood tests, meaning they may not be usable as evidence.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t give up on your case until you’ve at least consulted with a local DUI lawyer. There is almost always a way to fight DUI charges. An experienced DUI lawyer can find the details in your case that matter and present them in the way that’s most likely to create a positive result. Most DUI lawyers will offer a free initial consultation and, given the serious ramifications a DUI conviction can have in your life, it doesn’t make much sense not to take advantage of that offer.




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