If you’re facing drunk driving charges for the first time, then you’re probably worried about how such allegations may affect your future. It’s true that drunk driving charges can cause a lot of upheaval in your life, especially if they end up leading to conviction. You might have your license suspended, be forced to implement an ignition interlock system, be subjected to fines, and maybe even be sent to jail.
But even though aggressive prosecutors know how to build compelling drunk driving cases that drive for conviction, you don’t have to just sit back and let them steer the ship. Instead, you should fully assess your criminal defense options to see if there’s a way to avoid the harshest penalties or maybe even conviction altogether.
Defending against drunk driving charges
Depending on the facts of your case, you may have multiple criminal defense options available to you. Let’s look at some of them:
- Challenging breath test accuracy: Law enforcement and prosecutors like to hang their hats on the results of a Breathalyzer test. However, the results of these tests aren’t always as failsafe and prosecutors would lead you to believe. To start, the devices need to be maintained and calibrated periodically in accordance with industry standards. The individual who conducts the test also needs to be properly trained and administer the test in the proper fashion. For example, taking breath test when the subject is burping or even vomiting can skew the results. Be sure that you assess the circumstances surrounding your breath test.
- Argue that the stop was illegal: A lot of DUI convictions are obtained after a routine traffic stop leads to the discovery that the driver in question is intoxicated. But the police can’t just stop you because they feel like it. They have to have legal justification for initiating a traffic stop. If there is no legal basis for the stop, then any subsequently gathered evidence, including breath test results and police officer observations, may be deemed inadmissible at trial.
- Dispute proper chain of custody: If your drunk driving charges stem from blood test results, then you might be able to get evidence of intoxication thrown out if you can show that there are significant gaps in the chain of custody. The government has to show that the evidence passed from place-to-place without being tampered with or contaminated. So by looking closely at how your blood was handled, you may be able to raise doubt as to the reliability of the test in question.
- Demonstrate that your blood alcohol content was rising: This might sound strange, but sometimes the police pull an individual over who was actually not legally intoxicated at the time of the stop, but while they are administering field sobriety tests and ultimately a breath or blood test, the driver’s blood alcohol concentration increases beyond the legal limit. This can happen when alcohol is consumed shortly before driving because the alcohol is not fully absorbed by the body immediately upon consumption.
Get the custom-tailored criminal defense you need
The right defense for you depends on the circumstances of your case. That’s why many Lancaster residents who have been charged with drunk driving choose to turn to an experienced criminal defense attorney for help. If you think that having an advocate on your side might be beneficial, then now may be the time to discuss your circumstances with an attorney of your choosing. Hopefully then you can increase your chances of reaching the best outcome possible and can move on with your life.