Weighing your legal options when you face serious criminal charges often involves looking at the evidence against you. For those accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), officers will typically have two kinds of evidence unless there was a crash that caused property damage or injury to others.
Most of the time, those arrested for drunk driving face charges based on technical infractions, not because they have injured someone or caused property damage. If police accuse you of impaired driving, they will typically have both a report about your field sobriety test and the outcome of a chemical breath test to help support the charges brought against you.
While many people think of such evidence as irrefutable, the truth is that many defendants could have the opportunity to challenge the evidence against them.
Issues ranging from anxiety to medical conditions can affect field sobriety tests
A field sobriety test is a way for an officer to analyze someone’s behavior for signs of significant chemical impairment.
Testing usually involves an officer requiring an individual to perform several tasks, including walking a straight line and balancing on one leg. Officers also perform a test to check for the presence of involuntary muscle twitches in the eye frequently heightened by the presence of alcohol.
Many other medical conditions might cause someone to fail parts of a field sobriety test, ranging from physical conditions that affect motor function to mental health conditions that increase someone’s sense of anxiety when interacting with those in positions of legal authority.
Breath tests can unfairly implicate a driver
For decades, police officers and prosecutors have used chemical breath testing as the gold standard for proving impairment in DUI cases. Unfortunately, modern understanding about the function of these tests shows quite clearly that they are not as reliable as prosecutors or the police would have the public believe.
Many things can go wrong with a chemical breath test that might lead to unreliable results, ranging from mistakes by the officer administering the test to medications taken by, or medical conditions experienced by, the person taking the test.
Gulf Coast DUI defense attorneys can help you strategize
Challenging the evidence is only one defense option. It could also be possible for someone to challenge the chain of custody, showing that there may have been chemical contamination of the evidence or challenging the traffic stopped itself and making the evidence gathered during it inadmissible.
Those hoping to push back against a DUI charge need to look at all their options for doing so.