Going through a drunk driving stop is an experience you probably don’t want to relive.
However, leading up to your court date, it’s crucial to think through the traffic stop from start to finish. Doing this might help you figure out why you failed a breath test or another way to defend yourself in front of judge.
Improper traffic stop
One common drunk driving defense is that the police officer didn’t collect evidence to prove that the driver they stopped was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One example of this might involve a police officer taking a suspect to the police station without administering any roadside tests. Usually field sobriety tests give an officer hints that the suspect is under the influence of a substance. For instance, if a police officer notices that the suspect can’t easily keep their balance while standing on one foot, then they might assume that a good amount of alcohol is in their system. But if they never give a suspect an opportunity to display or not display signs of impairment, then a judge might agree that the arrest was unlawful.
Inaccurate breath test
A police officer might correctly administer sobriety tests, including a breath test to measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. But it’s possible that the breathalyzer reading might be incorrect. Breathalyzer tests can fail when machines don’t receive regular calibration. And in some cases, suspects have seen a BAC count that doesn’t correlate to the amount of alcohol they consumed. In fact, if someone recently used mouthwash use, inhaled paint fumes or has high levels of acetone because of a diet or health condition, then the breathalyzer device might mistake these substances as alcohol.
There are several other ways roadside sobriety tests and mistakes made by law enforcement can lead to an unfair arrest. Therefore, reflecting on small and large details about the DUI stop can help you prepare to tell your side of the story in court.