Driving under the influence is a public health risk that Alabama takes extremely seriously. The punishments for a DUI charge can be severe even for first-time offenses. Penalties include a mandatory 90-day license suspension and hundreds of dollars in fines.
If you’re arrested and charged with a DUI, there are a few common defenses that may apply to you:
This is the most common defense for DUI charges. An improper stop claims law enforcement did not have probable cause to pull you over.
Probable cause means the officer saw a reason to pull you over. These include erratic driving, swerving or driving unusually slow. Broken headlights or outdated license plates also satisfy probable cause.
If a police officer pulls you over without reason, sometimes the judge will dismiss your charges.
Field sobriety test accuracy
If your charges stem from a field sobriety test, you can challenge the process of the test or its results. If an officer improperly administers a field sobriety test, it can affect your charges.
The same goes for the portable breathalyzer test. If you can prove the test was not administered properly– if the officer wasn’t trained to give breathalyzers, for example–you may be able to dismiss the charges.
Sometimes the time between the initial stop and a breathalyzer raises your BAC. Alcohol not yet digested gets absorbed during the wait time, raising your BAC.
You can argue that a rising BAC affected your breathalyzer results.
While no two situations are the same, these are a few of the ways a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you contest a DUI charge.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Alabama, you have options. Legal representation can help you determine the best course of action.