DUI Defenses: Facts And Fiction

Being charged under any DUI law can be a scary proposition. People often want to feel like they have some power over the situation, and that has led to the propagation of plenty of myths that every DUI attorney has heard. Take a look at what's true and what's false in regard to DUI cases.

DUI Checkpoints Are Illegal: False

While some people may dislike DUI checkpoints, no DUI defense attorney is going to march straight into a courtroom and demand a defendant be freed based on this argument. Although checkpoints are tightly regulated, that's not the same as them being illegal. The cops can't, for example, target specific people or use a seemingly random process.

Generally, the rule is that every third, fifth, or tenth driver has to be pulled from the line and tested. If you can document that the police weren't doing this, you might have a fighting chance. Dashcam and cellphone videos are invaluable in making this sort of case, although you're going to have to have been in a pretty long line for the evidence to hold up.

It's Not Your BAC Reading At the Time of the Test: True

The law requires that the police demonstrate reasonable evidence a person was drunk at the time they were driving. This argument won't help you much if you blew past the state's legal limit, but it usually discourages the police from charging borderline cases. If someone blew a 0.08 in a state where that's the legal limit, the reading may be variable enough that it might be challenged. The goal for a DUI attorney is to have the charges tossed based on the idea the driver probably wasn't drunk at the time they were driving.

You Have to Be Awake to Be Tested: False

A 2019 Supreme Court ruling upheld a conviction involving a blood test that was conducted on a passed out person suspected of drunk driving. The legal theory is that the police don't need a warrant because the evidence is disappearing as they wait. If the suspect had been awake, they would have been able to object to the testing on the grounds that it's too invasive. The police then would've had to have sought a warrant from a judge.

The Police Have to Read You Your Rights: False

The acceptance of a driving license from the state is effectively like a user agreement for a phone. Cops don't have to Mirandize you because your license means you've already agreed to the terms.

Talk to a DUI attorney to learn more.