blog DUI What Effective DUI Defenses Look Like

What Effective DUI Defenses Look Like

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on June 1, 2022

When facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge, an experienced defense lawyer can make all the difference. A skilled lawyer can get cases with insufficient evidence or improper procedure dismissed, help secure a not-guilty ruling, or fight for you to receive a more favorable sentence.

The skilled DUI defense attorneys at Whitaker & Penix, LLC, work tirelessly to identify all available defenses in your case and present the strongest arguments for you. If you are facing a DUI charge in Summit County call us today at (970) 368-0602 so we can begin helping you.

Below we have highlighted some common types of defenses available to DUI charges in Colorado.

Defenses To a DUI Charge in Colorado

Although there are numerous potential defenses to DUI charges, common defenses can be grouped into the following categories.

1.  Flawed Evidence

One of the main defenses in DUI cases stems from the fact that the tools or methods to measure intoxication are fallible – a result signifying intoxication can be caused by a number of factors completely unrelated to recreational drugs or alcohol.

Police often use breathalyzers when a driver is stopped and voluntarily agrees to perform the test or at routine checkpoints. However, these tests can present “false positive” results or incorrect alcohol levels that were not caused by alcohol. For example, high body or atmospheric temperatures, medical conditions like acid reflux and diabetes, and certain diets and foods can cause falsely high readings on breathalyzers.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST), including the horizontal-gaze-nystagmus test, walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg-stand test, are similarly flawed. Medical conditions, stress, environmental factors, and some prescriptions can all affect a person’s ability to pass these tests successfully, and whether a person “passes” requires a subjective evaluation by the officer.

Although blood tests are more reliable, these can be affected by fermentation, contamination, or improper handling resulting in an incorrect reading.

2.  Improper Testing Procedures

The credibility of evidence obtained by blood and breath tests can also be challenged where proper testing procedures were not followed. For breath tests, if the instrument is not properly calibrated or is used by a poorly trained operator, this can lead to false positives.

Similarly, inaccurate results can occur if blood tests are performed by an improperly trained person or processed incorrectly by a lab that is not following proper procedures.

Improper handling or record keeping by officers or administrators of either of these tests also undermines the reliability of the evidence collected.

3. Correct Stop/Arrest Procedures Not Obeyed

Officers must also follow certain procedures when pulling a person over and performing arrests for evidence obtained during these processes to be admissible.

To be pulled over by a police officer, arrested, or required to perform chemical testing, the officer must have had “probable cause” to suspect you of committing a crime. Where it eventuates there was not probable cause (which a lawyer can help determine), the evidence obtained may be inadmissible.

Similarly, if a person is not read their Miranda rights once arrested and before interrogation, any statement given in interrogation may be inadmissible.

Less commonly, if a person is stopped at a checkpoint that did not comply with the guidelines set by the U.S Supreme Court and Colorado Department of Transportation, the checkpoint may be found to have acted illegally..

Need a Lawyer?

At Whitaker & Penix, LLC, our experienced DUI defense attorneys were former prosecutors, so they know the tactics used by the prosecution and how to counter them.  If you are facing a DUI charge, our attorneys will help you obtain a more favorable outcome. Call us today at (970) 368-0602.

Posted in: DUI