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Defending a DUI Part 2 - Warnings, Breathalyzers and Field Sobriety Testing

In previous blogs we discussed DUI arrests, the severity of DUI penalties and how important it is to get legal counsel from a professional DUI lawyer. Keep in mind, not taking your DUI arrest seriously can lead to severe DUI penalties such as: high fines, jail time, probation, license suspension, increased cost of insurance and mandatory alcohol education classes, even if you are a first time DUI offender. In our blog yesterday we discussed defending against an officer’s failure to establish probable cause before your DUI arrest and how a DUI lawyer can review chemical testing procedures. Today, we will review whether or not the arresting officer gave you all of the proper warnings before your chemical test and DUI arrest, whether you were really intoxicated at the time of your DUI arrest and whether your field sobriety testing was done properly.

Warnings not Properly Given

The types of warnings which must be given prior to administering a chemical test may differ by state. Some states require a police officer to provide you with specific warning, while other states do not. If your state requires the police officer to notify you of the consequences of refusing to submit to a chemical test, your DUI lawyer can make sure this was done. If you were arrested for DUI, your DUI lawyer will make sure that you were read your Miranda Rights. These rights include the right to remain silent, to hire a lawyer, and if you cannot afford a lawyer, to have one appointed to you by the state.

Breathalyzer Test Done During the Absorptive Phase

Defense lawyers also commonly claim that there may have been an error in the breath alcohol test if an individual was tested too early. Defense lawyers will claim that if your blood test was done too early, the chemical test may have registered an inaccurate reading because the alcohol you consumed had not been uniformly distributed throughout your body. A DUI attorney can review if your breathalyzer test was done too early and your blood alcohol concentration was calculated accurately.

Faulty Field Sobriety Test

Field sobriety tests have been standardized for many years and include the walk-the-line, one-leg stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Standardized field sobriety testing is used to identify drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that, if done according to established standards, the tests have a high rate of accuracy. Unfortunately, police officers, even highly trained ones, are human and they are making judgments based on subjective observations. It may be easy to misinterpret certain behaviors. If you failed the field sobriety test, your DUI lawyer can review the field sobriety testing procedures and determine if there are any other factors which could have affected your ability to successfully complete the tests such as age, medication, and/or physical impairments.

Hiring a DUI Lawyer

From our discussion yesterday and today, you can see that a DUI arrest does not necessarily mean you will be convicted of a DUI. DUI lawyers can evaluate every part of the DUI including: • Was there probable cause for the DUI arrest? • Were you read all the appropriate warnings prior to submitting to a chemical test? • Were you read the Miranda Warning prior to your DUI arrest? • Was the field sobriety test performed accurately? • Was the Chemical test performed too early to register an accurate BAC level? If you have been arrested for DUI, contact a DUI attorney. A DUI attorney is an expert in defending against DUI charges. Do not leave your future to chance, especially if you have multiple DUI arrests. A DUI conviction can have severe, long-term consequences.