20 Ways to Beat a DUI

 

Here are 20 Ways to Prevail When Charged with a DUI in California

 

1. Sober People are Guilty of Bad Driving Too
When prosecuting a California driving under the influence (DUI) case, one of the first things that DUI prosecutors focus on is your driving pattern. That is, the driver drove like an intoxicated person by weaving in the lance, stopping short, etc.

At the Lee Law Group we defend against this argument by the district attorney by having the arresting police office himself admit that sober people often drive the same way, that he has written tickets for such driving, and in fact the majority of infractions that he has cited (ticketed) for this type of driving were to sober drivers. This argument coupled with inaccurate test results based on faulty test or test equipment, may show the prosecutor that it may be difficult for them to prove you were driving under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt leading to reduced charges.

 

2. The Are Many Reasons for Bad Driving Unrelated to Alcohol or Drugs and DUI
The Police’s first assumption is that the driver is violating the DUI laws. However, there are a myriad of reasons for bad driving that are unrelated to driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Speeding and even erratic driving are often a result of inattention or distraction. Or maybe you were eating, trying to play a CD, or trying to pick up something that dropped or were trying to light a cigarette. Perhaps you were distracted by your passengers or a pedestrian. All these are reason you may have driven incorrectly and none are DUI related.

The Lee Law Group will argue these points reminding the district attorney that we all get distracted and DUI may unrelated to the matter this time. Again, this argument coupled with inaccurate test results based on faulty test or test equipment, may show the prosecutor that it may be difficult for them to prove you were driving under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt leading to reduced charges.

 

3. There Are Innocent Explanations For Physical Signs and Symptoms of DUI
Most police officers use your physical appearance during the stop as evidence you are intoxicated. In the average DUI arrest complaint the police officer will state that the driver appeared to be intoxicated because his eyes were red, his speech was slurred, he was sweating, and so forth. In fact, police DUI arrest forms have checkboxes for these symptoms.

At the Lee Law Group, as the facts allow, we defend against this argument by the prosecutor by stating that there are other, “innocent” reasons you are exhibiting these symptoms not related to your being intoxicated. Further, based on factual analyses, we argue that you were not truly exhibiting these symptoms at all, but the police officers were merely following their checkboxes on the DUI arrest forms

 

4. Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) Don't Accurately Measure Impairment
Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are heavily relied on by the "district attorney to prove your intoxication. The arresting officer will testify that you "performed poorly" on these tests, as you were unable to follow "simple" instructions based on your impairment. Again, at the Lee Law Group, as the facts allow, we defend against this argument by the district attorney by stating that there are other, ‘innocent’ reasons you were unable to perform as they requested on the field sobriety tests, and, or that you in fact did perform as well as could be expected. They may be several reasons why a driver could not perform well on a field sobriety tests. To name a few, perhaps the driver did not understand the police officer’s language. Often during the tension and anxiety of a DUI stop, the driver may not be able to convey to the officer that he does not understand English well. Another reason may be physical or mental impairment. Perhaps the driver had a bad leg or back and thus could not walk a straight line, or bend over and touch their toes. As stated, there are many reasons not related to your being intoxicated.

 

5. The Police Officer Didn't Conduct a Proper 15-Minute Observation Period
California DUI law mandates that before an officer gives you a "breath test," he/she must continuously observe you for fifteen minutes. During this time, you are not supposed to eat, drink, vomit, belch, burp or smoke, as doing so may affect the results of your test. The reason this is so important is because if you do any of these things and alcohol moves from your stomach to your mouth your blood alcohol content (BAC) might be inaccurately high.

At the Lee Law Group, we know how to discredit the officer's 15-minute observation period, and if the office performed this step incorrectly, perhaps he was not following proper procedures while conducting the entire driving under the influence investigation and thereby perhaps the judge or jury should dismiss the case.

 

6. The Police Officer/ Police Department Did Not Comply With California's Title 17 Regulations That Govern Blood and Breath Testing
California's Code of Regulations Title 17 is what governs how DUI blood and breath tests are conducted. It sets forth all of the requirements that are necessary for an officer to properly maintain the integrity of a blood or breath test. Title 17 regulates how police officers must use (1) The previously mentioned 15-minute observation period (see # 4 above),; (2) how the field sobriety tests must be administered; (3) How the testing equipment must be tested and maintained; (4) The collection, handling, and storage of the completed tested fluids, (blood or, urine) As with the 15 minute period, we at the Lee Law Group know how to discredit the officer's adherence to these regulations, and when an officer fails to conform precisely to these standards and regulations perhaps he was not following proper procedures while conducting the entire investigation and thereby perhaps the judge or jury should dismiss the case.

 

7. “Mouth Alcohol” Led to a False High BAC
Result "Mouth alcohol" is alcohol that remains in the mouth. Although stationary DUI breath testing machines and Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) devices are supposed to collect air from your deep lungs (called alveolar air or referred to as "deep lung air"), residual mouth alcohol can interfere, which leads to a false high BAC reading. Additionally, cough medicines and mouthwash with an alcohol base can also interfere with the breath tests likewise leading to false, high BAC readings. We at the Lee Law Group, know how to raise these arguments, as the fact allow, chipping away at the prosecutor’s case making it more difficult for them to prove you were DUI beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

8. Medical Conditions Can Cause High BAC Without Intoxication or Intend to Drive Under the Influence
There are several recognized medical conditions can lead to high blood alcohol without your being intoxicated. First there are conditions such as GERD, (Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease), acid reflux, and/or heartburn that produce high “mouth alcohol” and thereby can cause a falsely high BAC on a California DUI breath test. This is because these conditions produce a flow of acid that travels from the stomach into the mouth. When this occurs just prior to or during a DUI breath test, the alcohol that travels from your stomach to your mouth disguises the deep lung air that the breath testing instrument is intended to measure. In addition, certain other diseases, such as hypothyroidism, can slow down the way your body metabolizes alcohol making it appear you are intoxicated. Furthermore, certain other medical conditions such as diabetes and hypoglycemia are actually capable of self-producing isopropyl alcohol. This process produces ketones. Ketones, when eliminated from the body through breath and urine, convert into isopropyl alcohol. The problem...with respect to DUI breath testing...is that most California DUI breath testing instruments are not sophisticated enough to distinguish between this self-produced isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol (the type of alcohol that we drink). As a result, diabetes, or hypoglycemia can trick a DUI breath testing instrument into producing a falsely high BAC.

All these medical conditions make it appear the driver is intoxicated and, or intended to drive under the influence when in actuality it was hours since they drank alcohol so either its affects are gone in spite of a high BAC reading and you have no intention to drive under the influence because you took your last drink hours ago. These diseases and conditions can often lead to having your DUI case dismissed.

 

9. Certain Self-Imposed Conditions Such As ‘Atkins-Style Diets’ Can Cause High BAC
Without Intoxication or Intend to Drive Under the Influence Certain self-imposed conditions such as ‘Atkins-Style Diets’ can cause high BAC without intoxication or intend to drive under the influence. This is because bodies that are deprived of carbohydrates turn to stored fat for energy. As with diabetes, this process produces ketones. Ketones, when eliminated from the body through breath and urine, convert into isopropyl alcohol. The problem...with respect to DUI breath testing...is that most California DUI breath testing instruments are not sophisticated enough to distinguish between this self-produced isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol (the type of alcohol that we drink). As a result, Atkins-style diets can trick a DUI breath testing instrument into producing a falsely high BAC.

As with certain medical conditions, these self-imposed conditions make it appear the driver is intoxicated and, or intended to drive under the influence when in actuality it was hours since they drank alcohol so either its affects are gone in spite of a high BAC reading and you have no intention to drive under the influence because you took your last drink hours ago. These diseases and conditions can often lead to having your DUI case dismissed.

 

10. You Were "On the Rise"
"Rising Blood Alcohol" can mean your BAC was higher when you took the test than when you were actually driving Drinking is not illegal. Driving under the influence is. This defense seeks to argue that since you were ‘on the rise’ your BAC did not reach .08, the level required for a driver to be convicted for DUI, until several minutes after you stopped driving; but while you were driving your BAC was less than .08 and thus you were not driving the influence.

What matters is: what your level was at the time you were driving. Often it takes 20-30 minutes for the officer to stop you, ask questions, perform the field sobriety tests, which of course the police officer will claim you performed poorly and this are DUI and must be arrested. The officer will then transport you to the police station, check in, and then, finally, you are given a breath or blood test to determine you. What if your BAC is .08 or .09? Legally, if you were driving at the moment of your breath or blood tests, you are driving under the influence. But what was your BAC 20-30 minutes earlier when you were actually driving?

At the Lee Law Group, we know how to raise this argument, as the fact allow, often showing the prosecutor the practical weaknesses in their case causing them to plea down to a less serious charge. Or if you decide you want to go to trial we can often use this argument along with others factual lines of reasoning to gain an acquittal.

11. You Weren't DUI if You Were Mentally Alert
Often times a driver who has had a few drinks is polite, coherent and alert but is unable to correctly perform the field sobriety tests and after a blood alcohol content test are deemed a driving under the influence. At the Lee Law Group, we know how to raise the argument that because you were not mentally impaired you were not DUI. This argument can often showing the prosecutor the practical weaknesses in their case causing them to plea down to a less serious charge.

12. The Arresting Officer(s) Did not Follow Proper Procedures or Committed Police Misconduct
A California drunk driving investigation is supposed to be safeguarded by a large number of procedures that the officer must follow in order for you to be convicted of DUI. These range from the “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that is required before an officer can conduct a traffic stop, to reading you your "Miranda" rights prior to questioning you, to the "probable cause" required before he or she can arrest you, to following California's Title 17 regulations to the officer completing accurate and truthful police reports to their offering truthful courtroom testimony. All must be done following proper procedures and without police misconduct.

If your arresting officer was not properly following all these procedures, we at the Lee Law Group know how to discredit his conduct and the evidence he obtained against you, often showing that your DUI case should be dismissed. As the facts allow, conduct "suppression hearings" under the California Penal Code 1538.5 hearings to have improperly obtained evidence ruled inadmissible or have the entire case dismissed. Once we have chipped away at the prosecution’s case we try and show them the practical weaknesses in their remaining case causing them to plea down to a less serious charge or dismiss it outright.

 

13. Breath Testing Equipment and Storage may cause Inaccurate BAC Levels
DUI breath testing is the most common way to measure one's BAC. One problem: it is not always an accurate one. This is because of the fact that a DUI breath test does not directly measure the amount of alcohol in your blood. It measures the amount of alcohol present in your breath and then converts that amount to determine the amount of alcohol in your blood. As a result, DUI breath testing is susceptible to a variety of outside influences that can generate an erroneously high BAC reading. Further, or your personal breath temperature might be outside the "norm" making it so the breath testing machine did not accept a proper sample.

We at the Lee Law Group will analyze your BAC readings to be sure they are accurate. For example, the breath testing instruments that were used to measure you blood alcohol content may have malfunctioned and thus, due to technical error, your BAC reading was erroneously too high. If the equipment used was calibrated incorrectly, or it missed a periodic inspection, we may be able to show it produced an inaccurate reading and thereby suppress the BAC evidence. If this is the case, you DUI may be dismissed based on insufficient evidence.

 

14. Blood (or Urine) Testing Equipment and Storage may cause Inaccurate BAC Levels
Several factors can taint the results of your DUI blood test results causing your blood to inaccurately register a high BAC content. A few of these are (1) the blood (or urine), sample being passed outside the proper "chain of custody" or was stored incorrectly prior to and during the testing. (2) Blood fermentation, (3) blood contamination due to the way the blood was taken and stored and other effects of improper storage of your blood sample.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI breath and blood, (or urine), test, or the collection and storage of your DUI blood test, the Lee Law Group may be able to have your BAC results excluded from evidence. If this is the case, you DUI may be dismissed based on insufficient evidence.

 

15. California DUI Sobriety Checkpoints Must Adhere To Specific Legal Requirements
If you were arrested at a DUI roadblock, there are a variety of issues that we at the Lee Law Group will investigate. California DUI sobriety checkpoints must adhere to very strict legal requirements. If they do not you could be falsely arrested for DUI. These legal requirements relate to the operation of the DUI checkpoint. Some examples include (but are not limited to):

• Having supervising officers organize and oversee the checkpoint

• making sure that the field officers follow a predetermined formula for stopping cars, and

• publicly advertising the DUI roadblock. If and, or when these requirements are not satisfied, the Lee Law Group can effectively challenge your DUI arrest and subsequent charges.

At the Lee Law Group, we know how to raise this argument, as the fact allow, often showing the prosecutor the practical weaknesses in their case causing them to plea down to a less serious charge or get your case dismissed altogether.

 

16. Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) can contribute to a falsely high BAC result
Radio frequency interference ("RFI") can cause a California DUI chemical blood or breathe test to produce an erroneously high BAC. This is because almost all electronic devices...such as those used to analyze DUI blood and breath samples...are susceptible to RFI or EFI (electromagnetic interference). The electronic components in these instruments can be affected by nearby radio waves. Radio transmission from (1) patrol cars, (2) the automatic door-unlocking devices found in crime labs, (3) cell phones, (4) microwaves, (5) fluorescent lights, etc... These are just a few examples of the types of equipment that are capable of interfering with DUI blood and breathe testing results.

At the Lee Law Group, we know how to raise this argument, as the fact allow, often showing the prosecutor the practical weaknesses in their case causing them to plea down to a less serious charge or get your case dismissed altogether.

 

17.   Your DUI BAC does not accurately reflect your level of impairment
If a significant discrepancy exists between your BAC and your alleged level of impairment, something is wrong. This may be the case where you either (1) reportedly exhibited no impairment, or (2) exhibited even slight impairment, but your BAC was high...by even as much as two or three times the legal limit. When this type of situation occurs (sometimes referred to as a "disconnect" case), and your DUI BAC does not accurately reflect your alleged level of impairment, the evidence cannot be trusted...something just does not add up. At the Lee Law Group, we know how to raise this argument, as the fact allow, often showing the prosecutor the practical weaknesses in their case causing them to plea down to a less serious charge or get your case dismissed altogether.

 

18.   The Police Officer Failed to Advise You of and Ensure that you Understand Your Miranda Rights
Miranda rights are required by the U.S. and California Constitutions when there is “custodial interrogation”. That means (1) whenever you are not free to leave the police’s custody, whether you are arrested or not, and (2) the Police want to ask you any questions, they must read (advise you of) your Miranda Rights, and make sure you understand these rights. Miranda Rights are the now famous (from TV) incantation beginning with “you have the right to remain silent…”

If you are subject to the conditions of custodial interrogation as described in ‘(1) and (2) above the officer must advise you of your Miranda rights. If the officer fails to do so, they have violated your state and federal constitutional rights and thereby risk having any subsequent statements excluded from evidence. Depending on the significance of those statements, their exclusion could result in reduced or dismissed DUI charges.

 

Contact the Lee Law Group and we will thoroughly investigate if your right have been violated and your DUI may be dismissed.

 

19.   Police Officer Did Not Have Reasonable Suspicion To Stop, Detain, or Probable Cause To Arrest
If the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop, detain, or probable cause to arrest you for DUI, the evidence--and the case--may get thrown out of court.

The Police must have reasonable suspicion that you are engaged in criminal activity, (DUI here), before the police can (1) stop your car, and (2) detain you to conduct a DUI investigation to confirm or dispel this suspicion Then, if this reasonable suspicion is confirmed, and matures into probable cause, the police may (3) arrest you for a California DUI, If an officer does not have the probable cause necessary before engaging in any one of these stages, the Lee Law Group may be able to get any evidence that is obtained as a result of that illegal procedure suppressed by the court. When a judge suppresses evidence, it means that the prosecution cannot use it against you. As a result, evidence obtained without probable cause usually results in reduced or dismissed California DUI charges.

 

20.   You Were Not Driving So You Cannot Be Guilty for DUI
It is not enough for the police to prove you were under the influence...the crime is driving under the influence. If, for example:

• you were involved in an accident and no one saw you driving the car, or

• if the police found you when you were in your parked car, it will be more difficult for the prosecution to prove one of the key elements of a DUI: that you drove. If the D.A. cannot prove that you were driving, you cannot be convicted of a California DUI. At the Lee Law Group, we know how to raise this argument and insert reasonable doubt in the prosecutor’s case. This may in turn cause the prosecutor to plea down to a less serious charge or, if we are able to place doubt concerning whether you were in fact driving, get your case dismissed altogether.

These 20 defenses could all be raised to save you from being convicted of a DUI. • Contact the Lee Law Group to fight your DUI charge. Driving under the influence is an area of the law that is complex, scientific, and technical. An attorney who does not routinely defend these types of cases will put you at a severe disadvantage when it comes to truly understanding the science and laws that make this type of case so truly unique and entirely possible to defend.

We understand these defenses and have the know how to use them to protect you. As the facts allow we will use one or more of these 10 common defenses on your behalf.

 

IF YOU ARE SUSPECTED OR CHARGED WITH DUI, CONTACT THE LEE LAW GROUP AND WE WILL BEGIN FIGHTING FOR YOU.

 
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