Criminal Attorneys Explain: Debunking 5 Common DUI Myths

The penalties for DUI often involve jail time, the loss of a driver’s license, and stiff fines. However, those who are charged aren’t always guilty. Unfortunately, many defendants think it’s easier to plead guilty than fight the charges. There are several ways to mount a defense.

Finding a Lawyer

Anyone charged with a DUI should go to court with a lawyer. Search online for a lawyer that takes DUI cases. Ask friends and family members to recommend an attorney. Further, there are reviews of lawyers online on several websites. Make an appointment over at to start working on a defense.

The Breathalyzer

A common myth about DUI is that a positive breathalyzer test seals the defendant’s fate. This is not true because results are often inaccurate. The machine measures the amount of acetone in an individual’s breath. Hypoglycemia is a major cause of acetone in the breath. Imagine, diabetics can have enough acetone in their breath to get a reading of .06. That’s above the legal limit in Utah.

Popular diets can cause false readings. Low-carb diets increase acetone levels in the body. The body pumps out acetone to make up for lower glucose levels. Increased acetone levels may cause false positives. If the accused gives a blood sample, the test must be done by an official licensed to perform the test. If not, the attorney can challenge the results of the test. Further, an attorney can challenge the chain of custody for the blood sample.

Drivers do not have to take the field sobriety test. The officer asks the motorist to take the test because they’re suspicious. Therefore, taking the test helps the police build their case. The officer must never make a driver feel like they have to take the test.

Getting Pulled Over

A defense lawyer makes sure the police had a valid reason to pull the defendant over. Sometimes, police officers use swerving as a reason to pull a driver over. Swerving is really in the eyes of the beholder. Invalid stops are a violation of the 4th Amendment (illegal search and seizure.) The evidence is thrown out if there’s not a valid reason for the stop.

The Roadside Test

The standardized roadside test has three components: the one-leg stand, walk and turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. The one-leg stand involves a motorist standing with one leg six inches off the ground for thirty seconds. Those who are unable to balance are suspected of being intoxicated. However, individuals have balance problems for a host of reasons. Additionally, certain protocols must be followed when giving the test. The results are flawed if the officer doesn’t follow the protocols exactly as written.

You Must Be Driving

Being guilty of DUI consists of two components. The first component is a person must be driving the vehicle. Secondly, the individual is proven to be impaired while driving. However, one can be arrested for DUI even if they were sleeping. Some states allow the prosecution to try a person for having “actual physical control” of a vehicle. Nonetheless, a jury may have a hard time convicting someone who was asleep in the backseat.

Most people accused of DUI don’t know the law. Those facing prosecution should hire an attorney to protect their rights. Many components of a DUI arrest can be challenged in court.

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