Most people who face drunk driving charges worry about how their lives will change. This is natural since the penalties can be stiff. In addition to legal and administrative repercussions, there are professional and social consequences to consider. However, it is important to note that a charge does not have to result in a conviction. Even if your blood alcohol content was above the legal limit, it doesn’t mean you have to go to jail. A competent Atlanta DUI lawyer will investigate your case thoroughly and look for all possible defenses. There are several things that they may be able to challenge. We’ll discuss some of them in this post.
Challenging the Traffic Stop
Law enforcement officers need to have a reason for pulling you over. If you were not breaking any traffic laws, your lawyer may use this in your defense. Very often, people get charged with driving under the influence after they’re stopped for improper lane changes or speeding. However, infractions aren’t always due to impairment.
If the police stopped you during a roadblock, you still have rights. If your rights were violated in any way, any evidence gathered during the stop may become invalid. Sometimes officers suspect drivers of impaired driving if they make a U-turn before a roadblock or turn off onto a side street. However, this alone is not sufficient reason for a traffic stop.
The officer must have reasonable suspicion that you were trying to avoid the roadblock. If you didn’t break any laws while turning, there may have been no reason for the officer to pull you over. When you meet with your DUI attorney in Atlanta, be sure to share all the details with them so they can prepare a strong defense.
Challenging the Field Sobriety Test
Police officers often ask motorists to take field sobriety tests to help them determine if they are intoxicated. The standardized tests are the one-leg stand test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and the walk and turn test. Depending on how you perform, the officer may deem you impaired. However, people can “fail” these tests for several reasons. Medication, medical conditions, age, and weight can all affect performance. Even lighting and weather conditions can cause a driver to fail. Since these tests are so unreliable, your attorney may be able to challenge the results.
Challenging the Portable Breath Test
Officers often administer portable breath tests when they pull over motorists. They use these to help them determine if the driver is intoxicated. The BAC these devices return is not admissible in court. However, officers can testify about whether the device detected alcohol or not. The officer must use an approved device. If they don’t, your attorney may challenge the accuracy of the device.
Failure to Read the Implied Consent Notice
If you’re driving on Atlanta’s roads, you should know about the implied consent law. It requires drivers to submit to a chemical test if they are arrested on suspicion of a DUI. By getting behind the wheel, you imply that you consent to this. However, law enforcement officers must still read a notice to you before asking you to take a test. If they don’t read the notice or they don’t read the right version, the results of the test may be suppressed in court.
Challenging the Chemical Test
Even if the chemical test showed your BAC was above the legal limit, you shouldn’t assume you’ll be convicted. Test results aren’t always accurate. The equipment can malfunction, or the test may be administered incorrectly. Medical conditions and residual alcohol in the mouth can also affect the results. If the test was not accurate, it can’t be used as evidence.
Contact Howard & Arca DUI Lawyers Today
These are just some of the ways in which attorneys defend residents of Georgia who are charged with DUIs. The defenses which apply to your case will depend on exactly what happened when the police pulled you over. No two drunk driving cases are alike but all DUIs are serious. However, the important thing to remember is that a DUI charge doesn’t mean your life is over. If you’ve been arrested, reach out to the Georgia DUI lawyers at Howard & Arca as soon as possible. We will evaluate your case and look for appropriate ways to help you beat the charge. We’ll do everything we can to secure the best possible outcome. Benefit from our experience and skill today.