Colorado Springs DUI Defense Strategies
You Can Fight DUI Charges in Colorado Springs
Contrary to popular belief, it is not against the law to drink and drive.
In fact, drinking and driving is perfectly legal. What
is illegal is driving after you have had so much alcohol that your ability
to operate the vehicle safely has been impaired. Similarly, it is legally
prohibited to drive when your blood alcohol concentration is at or above
the level of .08 percent. Ignorance of this simple fact is perhaps the
most common reason that individuals who are arrested and charged with
DUI end up being convicted. They think that the fact that there is evidence
that they had been drinking – whether it is the smell of alcohol
on their breath, a failed field sobriety test or breath test, or maybe
even their own admission to the police officer – means that the
case against them is bullet-proof and that there is therefore no hope
of effectively fighting the charges. So they simply give up. In truth,
you are legally innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,
and an effective Colorado Springs
criminal defense lawyer may be able to clear your name by making it impossible for the
prosecutor to prove that you had a BAC of .08 or that you were ability-impaired
at the time of the arrest.
DUI Tests Are Not Fool-Proof
The tests which law enforcement officers use to determine whether they
have cause to arrest and charge a driver with DUI, which include the roadside
sobriety tests and chemical tests of the breath and blood, are represented
as being able to provide objective and even scientific evidence for use
in court. Upon careful examination, it is clear to see that none of them
is 100 percent accurate, and some are even wildly open to interpretation.
For example, the standardized field sobriety tests – the Walk-and-Turn,
the One-Leg Stand and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – can be failed
for a number of different reasons that have nothing to do with the suspect's
sobriety. Examples of factors which make it difficult to pass these tests
include inappropriate footwear such as high heels, obesity, weak knees,
poor balance and anything else which would militate against the effort
to perform the tests, as well as conditions such as stress and intimidation
resulting from aggressive and domineering behavior on the part of the officer.
Further, success in the field sobriety test depends in large part on whether
or not the officer wants you to fail, since it is up to him or her to
decide the matter. In some cases, subpoenaing the dashboard video footage
from the police car may supply evidence which can be used in court to
demonstrate that the defendant did not in fact fail the test or that other
circumstances interfered. In other cases, the defense attorney can engage
in aggressive cross examination of the law enforcement officer to reveal
that he or she is insufficiently trained in how to administer the test.
By invalidating the test results, it is often possible to have the entire
Challenging DUI Breath and Blood Tests
Invalidation of the test results is also the goal in challenging the evidence
supplied by chemical testing. Your attorney may subpoena the maintenance
and calibration records of the breath test machine to demonstrate that
the equipment may have been out of tune and incapable of producing reliable
results. It has also been demonstrated that the presence of residual alcohol
in the suspect's mouth may cause a false positive, as can certain
biochemicals associated with acid reflux and diabetes. There have even
been cases where breath test results have been called into question by
pointing to the fact that radio frequency interference from scanners and
other equipment in the police station may have thrown off the accuracy
of the machine.
Blood test results may sometimes be contested by raising questions over the conditions
of the test, since simple factors such as slight contamination of the
test tube may result in fermentation of the blood sample, while there
is also the possibility that test samples may be inadvertently switched.
There are many possible approaches, but they all boil down to calling
into question whether the evidence is reliable enough to support a conviction.
Illegal DUI Traffic Stops
Even in cases where the evidence is airtight, it may be possible to have
the evidence suppressed based on the fact that the suspect's rights
were violated in the course of the investigation. This happens when the
police officer conducts what is known as an
unlawful traffic stop. Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a citizen cannot
be subjected to search or seizure unless the law enforcement officer has
a warrant or probable cause to suspect that a crime is being, or has been,
committed. If, upon cross examination, the officer cannot explain what
he noticed that constituted probable cause to pull you over, your attorney
may be able to have the case thrown out of court. It is not enough to
say that you looked like someone who would be driving drunk or that you
pulled out of the parking lot at a bar; you must have committed some type
of traffic offense or have been driving in a manner which would arouse
Speak with a Colorado Springs DUI Lawyer
These are only a few of the strategies which can be used to pursue a dismissal
or exoneration in a DUI case, but every one of them depends on you taking
action now by hiring a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer.
Contact me now at the Samuelson Law Firm for an initial consultation and to get
the process started!