Getting arrested and charged with a DUI is a lot more common than you think. It’s just that nobody likes to talk about it. In fact, one of your best friends could be driving with a breathalyzer ignition interlock device installed in his car, and you don’t even know it.
It usually happens something like this: You had a great night with friends at a party, and then you need to get home. You figure you’re safe to drive, and it’s been long enough since your last drink, but the police officer who pulled you over disagrees.
Who’s right? You or the police officer? This is something for a Tennessee criminal court judge to decide. In the meantime, you have every right to defend yourself against the allegations.
How do you defend against a DUI charge?
There are six primary ways that defendants answer an intoxicated driving charge. Your DUI defense might involve one of these defenses, an entirely different defense, or a combination of them depending on the circumstances of your arrest. Here they are:
- Improper stop: Here you show the court, through evidence and witness accounts, that the police officer didn’t have a viable reason to stop you in the first place.
- Improper or inaccurate field sobriety test: In this defense, you highlight facts that show the officer didn’t administer the field sobriety test according to legal protocol. Video tape evidence of the test might support your case in this regard.
- Improper or inaccurate breathalyzer test: Breathalyzer devices are not always accurate, even when they’re used the right way. However, if an officer hasn’t been properly trained – or if he/she fails to follow protocol – the breathalyzer results might not be admissible as evidence against you.
- Improper or inaccurate blood test: Like breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, there is a specific protocol officers and medical personnel must follow when administering a blood test. Failure to follow protocol – or evidence that someone tampered with your sample – could lead to the inadmissibility of a blood test in court.
- Rising blood alcohol concentration (BAC): You might drink two beers and be perfectly sober when you get behind the wheel. However, over time, as more alcohol enters your system, your blood alcohol concentration will rise. As such, a BAC test administered in the field could show that the driver’s BAC was much lower while he was driving, as compared to a BAC test administered one hour later at the police station.
Getting help with your criminal defense
One of the most important jobs of a DUI defense lawyer is to ensure his or her client that this too will pass. Your criminal court proceedings will eventually come to a close, and a qualified DUI attorney will be able to help you bring them to a conclusion in the most appropriate way. Your lawyer will defend you in every way possible, all the while trying to achieve a verdict of not guilty or reduce the severity of your punishments as much as possible.