You admit to the officer you’ve been drinking, and she asks how much you drank. You answer, and she says you’ll have to take a breathalyzer and a sobriety test. Then, you fail the breathalyzer, or you pass it and completely fail the sobriety test.
Many mistakes are being made in these examples. It’s not wrong to admit you’ve been drinking, but there is a fine line when it comes to answering questions you may have to fight in court. Yes, you can admit to drinking, but 1) just because you fail a breathalyzer does not mean your guilty, 2) the officer has to follow the law too, and 3) you do not have to take sobriety tests.
An effective defense against DUI is often bargaining with the prosecution for a lesser charge. In other ways, you can show the judge or jury enough doubt about the case to make it tougher for the prosecution to win with full charges.
Why can the breathalyzer be wrong?
Breathalyzers can be wrong. The most effective test for BAC (blood alcohol content) is in fact not the breathalyzer which any officer can give, but the blood test. Alcohol goes into your blood and that’s the best way to test for it.
Breathalyzers can vary in accuracy from person to person. It is clearly not an exact science. The breathalyzer tests blood alcohol from exhaled air, which is then multiplied greatly to get an estimate. If it sounds flawed, that’s because it’s simply the most convenient test for officers on the road. Yes, it is accurate much of the time, but it often does not stand in court without further evidence. Breathalyzer tests have been proven to be wrong in many cases. Just because you fail one does not mean you should plead guilty.
Why not take a sobriety test?
Also, if you plead guilty based on a sobriety test, it’s a mistake. If you fail both the breathalyzer and sobriety test, you still need not necessarily plead guilty. Why? Quite simply, sobriety tests are optional, and some officers perform them incorrectly. So we now know breathalyzers and sobriety tests can be inaccurate.
What mistakes can the officer make?
The officer can pull you over without probable cause. He or she might pull you over based on how your car looks or more often how you look. This is against the law, “profiling” suspects before they’ve done anything wrong. Also, if you choose to take a sobriety test just to prove your not drunk, the officer may not perform it accurately. Another way officers make mistakes is never reading your rights, the Miranda.
When should you plead guilty?
There are cases where pleading guilty to lesser charges is definitely smart. However, never make this decision without the counsel of a DUI lawyer. You need someone who has years experience in handling cases just like yours. Never, ever plead guilty without consulting a lawyer.