15 Ways A Madison DUI Attorney Can Beat DUI Charges
Ask any Madison DUI attorney and they will tell you that drunk driving cases are on the rise. OWIs, DUIs, and the like are occurring more frequently as states and municipalities enact increasingly strict laws and enforcement measures. However, just because you’ve been charged with drunk driving doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. There are several ways to beat a drunk driving charge if you enlist the help of a Madison DUI attorney.
15 Defense Options Your Madison DUI Attorney May Pursue
- Know What Police Are Looking For When They Suspect Drunk Driving.
Police must have a reason to stop you, either probable cause or a “reasonable suspicion” that you are committing a crime. That means they are on the lookout for certain actions or behaviors that might indicate that a driver is driving under the influence. Police especially look for:
- Driving late at night – especially around bar closing times.
- Erratic driving, wide turns.
- Failure to use turn signals.
- Failure to stop at stop signs and/or traffic lights.
- Driving too far left of the center line.
- Weaving between multiple lanes of traffic.
- Driving without headlights on at night.
- Reckless driving.
- Equipment failure.
- Unregistered or expired license plates.
If you were not demonstrating any of these signs, the legality of the stop may be questioned and the charges thrown out.
- Be Aware Of Unconstitutional Traffic Stops.
Again, police can’t pull you over without reason. They must have facts and evidence to support their actions to pull you over. If they don’t, the defense can argue that the stop was unconstitutional.
- Did The Law Enforcement Officer Have Probable Cause To Arrest?
Even if the officer had cause to stop you, it does not mean that he/she had probable cause to make the arrest. The officer must demonstrate that there was enough evidence to support his/her belief that you were impaired enough to arrest you.
- Challenge The Reliability Of Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs).
Field sobriety tests are often used to prove alcohol impairment, but they are not 100% accurate. In fact, studies have shown accuracy rates range from 60-77%. Challenging an FST is one drunk driving defense option that can have a strong impact on your case.
- Be Aware Of Breath Test Errors.
Breath tests are known for a wide variety of errors such as:
- Calibration errors
- Failure due to maintenance errors
- Physiological and medical conditions
- Radio frequency interference
Since the tests don’t directly measure your blood alcohol level or the alcohol concentration at the time of the stop, it is possible to raise the argument that the test results at the time of driving were under the legal limit, the so called “blood alcohol curve” defense.
- Medical Conditions Can Affect The Case.
Some medical condition can affect chemical breath test results. Any condition that affects stomach acid levels or deep breath capabilities can cause elevated BAC levels in a breath test.
- Your Diet Can Affect BAC Test Results.
High protein diets in particular have been known to cause elevated levels of isopropyl alcohol in the bloodstream, but breathalyzers can’t differentiate this from ethyl alcohol, which is found in the alcohol that you consume. It’s possible that what you ate could affect your test results without you being drunk.
- Post-Test Handling Of Blood Samples Can Affect Test Results.
The test tubes that store blood samples must be properly activated and stored to avoid the autogeneration of ethanol and/or yeast in the sample, which can skew results.
- Be Aware Of The Timing Of Your Sample.
How soon you were pulled over after your last drink can affect test results. If the alcohol had not yet been fully absorbed into your body at the time of driving, you could have a “blood alcohol curve” defense.
- You Can Have The Blood Sample Tested On Your Own.
Wisconsin gives drivers the right to independently obtain another blood or breath test.
- There May Be Other Explanations For The Driver Demonstrating OWI Behaviors.
Many other physical and/or emotional conditions can cause symptoms that look similar to OWI symptoms and/or behaviors. Allergies, fatigue, and illness are just a few examples.
- Bad Driving Does Not Equal An OWI.
In some cases, simple bad driving can lead to a traffic stop and OWI charge. Being a distracted, inattentive, or inexperienced driver can be a defense.
- The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Is Not Sufficient Proof.
Just because your BAC level is over the legal limit, it does not prove that you violated drunk driving laws. BAC levels can be influenced by many other factors, like medical conditions or treatments. A high BAC alone is not enough proof to obtain a conviction.
- Were You Actually Driving At The Time Of The Stop?
There must be sufficient evidence to prove that you actually operated a motor vehicle for the charge to stick. If it cannot be proven that you actually operated the vehicle, then it doesn’t matter if you were drunk.
- Videos And Dispatch Tapes May Show A Different Story.
Most police cars nowadays have video cameras mounted on the dashboard. This video evidence, along with footage from booking rooms and hospitals, can be used to build a defense if they show that the defendant was not impaired at the time of the stop or if they show other reasons why the driver may have been distracted or had trouble performing the requested field sobriety tests.
Build Your Defense With Help From An Eisenberg Law Offices Madison DUI Attorney
These 15 defense options show that not every DUI case is as cut and dry as law enforcement would have you believe. Consultation with a Madison DUI attorney is crucial to building a strong enough defense to beat the charges against you. Contact the Eisenberg Law Offices to arrange a free, confidential consultation with a Madison DUI attorney regarding OWI, DUI or other drunk driving charges. We can be reached at 608-256-8356 or online.