Many people who have been charged with a drunk driving offense mistakenly assume that they need to plead guilty because they will be convicted anyway. The results of a breath test and/or blood test are compelling pieces of evidence, but this doesn't necessarily mean that the case is a "slam dunk" for the prosecution.
The fact of the matter is that there are several common strategies attorneys use to mount a DUI defense for their clients. These strategies involve scrutinizing all aspects of the case and testing to determine if mistakes were made.
The first aspect that may be challenged is the traffic stop itself. Why exactly did the police officer pull you over? Many times, erratic driving raises an officer's suspicion, but not always. If you can prove that the officer lacked probable cause to pull you over, this may jeopardize the prosecution's case against you.
You can also challenge the way that tests were administered as well as the accuracy of the machines used in testing. Areas to examine include:
- Did the officer follow proper protocol when giving the field sobriety test?
- Was the breathalyzer device properly calibrated?
- Did the officer wait long enough before administering the breathalyzer to ensure that the test results were not skewed by alcohol in the suspect's mouth?
- Was a blood sample collected correctly?
- Was a blood sample analyzed correctly?
- Could the blood sample have been tainted somewhere along the chain of custody?
When it comes to offenses like drunk driving, all the details matter. The evidence against you may seem strong, but in many cases it can be successfully challenged.