Coates & Davenport, P.C.

How to defend against a DUI charge

The holiday season is nearly upon us and that means holiday parties that involve alcohol. If you plan to attend one of these parties and to drive home, it’s advisable to avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages as this is the best way to avoid an arrest and accusation of drunk driving.

Even if you don't drink anything before driving—or drink a very small amount—there's still a chance that you'll be stopped and accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. If this happens, there are several possible DUI defenses that may apply to your situation and case.

Inappropriate stop

If a police officer stops your vehicle, he or she needs to have a lawful reason for making the initial stop. Valid reasons may include speeding, weaving dangerously through traffic, failing to use headlights at night and driving through a red light. Barring a valid reason, a police stop may be deemed invalid.

Inaccurate or inappropriate administration of sobriety tests

When an officer conducts a field sobriety test, he or she must follow specific and lawful procedures. If the field sobriety test is administered in an incorrect fashion, a criminal court could invalidate the test results and they cannot be used as evidence.

Inaccurate Breathalyzer test and other inaccurate test results

Breathalyzer tests are known to have problems with accuracy, especially when a police officer fails to properly maintain and use a device. If an officer makes mistakes when administering or reading the results of a Breathalyzer test in your case, the prosecution will likely not be able to use the evidence against you in court.

The same applies to blood and urine tests. If the police did not handle blood and urine samples properly, the results could be deemed inaccurate and thrown out as evidence.

Do you need to defend yourself against an inaccurate DUI charge?

If you are facing drunk driving charges this holiday season in Virginia, you may want to learn more about the various criminal defense strategies that could help you navigate your case. Even if a conviction is likely, a strategic criminal defense could reduce the severity of punishments in your case.

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