Potential Defenses to a DUI Case
Defenses to a DUI case generally fall into 3 categories: Driving, officer observations/field sobriety tests and chemical testing. Remember that 12 jurors must agree on the guilt of the accused in order to convict. A skilled DUI defense attorney or DMV lawyer is your best hope for creating doubt in these areas and rendering the prosecution’s evidence an unreliable basis for the jury to return a guilty verdict.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following driving patterns indicate that the driver may be driving under the influence:
- Turning with wide radius
- Straddling center of lane marker
- Almost striking an object or vehicle
- Driving on other than designated roadway
- Speed more than 10 miles below legal limit
- Stopping without cause in traffic lane
- Following too closely
- Tires on center or lane marker
- Braking erratically
- Driving into opposing or crossing traffic
- Signaling inconsistent with driving actions
- Slow response to traffic signals
- Stopping inappropriately
- Turning abruptly or illegally
- Accelerating or decelerating rapidly
- Headlights off
A skilled DUI defense attorney can highlight those areas where the defendant’s driving was actually consistent with sobriety. For example, using proper signals, turning normally, and parking properly; stressing driving patterns that are consistent with sobriety can go a long way towards presenting a complete picture and rebutting the prosecution’s case. In addition, there may be an issue of drinking after driving, before the police contact the accused.
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There are many ways for an experienced attorney to whittle away at the trustworthiness of the prosecution’s evidence and prevent them from meeting their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.