Reasons Why DUI Charges May Be Dismissed
We all want to keep the roadways safe. Surely, keeping impaired drivers from operating motor vehicles can reduce the number of auto accidents. But as local authorities get more aggressive in their DUI reduction campaigns, some have raised concerns about drivers getting charged with DUIs even when they are following state laws. In these cases, DUI defense attorneys will work to get DUI charges dismissed or dropped due to problems with breath or blood testing results, or lack of probable cause.
Problems with the Breath Testing Device
Breath testing devices are subject to defects, as well as improper maintenance and use. These errors can result in a DUI charge being dropped or reduced:
- The breath testing device malfunctions
- The breath testing device is not properly maintained or recalibrated
- The breath test is not administered properly
- Outside factors, such as physiological or environmental factors, interfere with the results of the test
Factors that Affect the Results of Breath Tests
The presence of alcohol in the mouth can falsely inflate the results of breath tests, which are designed to measure alcohol in the alveolar air (breath from the deep lung tissue). DUI breath tests may result in inaccurate results due to:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, acid reflux, or heartburn, conditions in which some stomach contents travel from the stomach to the mouth
- Recent burping or vomiting
- The recent use of mouthwash
- Certain medical conditions, including diabetes and hypoglycemia, which may trigger the production of isopropyl alcohol. This happens when the body uses fat reserves for energy due to a lack of carbohydrates; in this process, ketones are produced, and are then converted to isopropyl alcohol. Most breath tests are not designed to detect the difference between ethyl alcohol, the type that we drink, and isopropyl alcohol.
- A low carb diet can result in the same effects as those caused by diabetes and hypoglycemia.
Factors that May Affect Blood Alcohol Test Results
A number of factors can lead to falsely inflated breath-alcohol results. These include:
- The blood was not stored properly; this could mean that the blood was stored at too high or low of a temperature
- Contamination of the blood
- The blood sample was not collected properly, for example, the blood was not drawn by a trained technician
- Fermentation of the blood
Lack of Probable Cause
The police officer must have probably cause to stop your car, investigate the possibility of DUI, and arrest drivers for DUI. This means that the driver's actions must have raised reasonable suspicion or belief that a traffic violation or criminal activity occurred. An officer has probable cause if the driver is:
- Weaving in and out of the traffic lane
- Driving recklessly
- Seen with open alcohol containers in the vehicle
Of course, there are many other reasons for probable cause. However, if the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop you, your DUI case could be dismissed.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is in your best interest to hire a DUI defense attorney. An attorney will work to minimize the charges and sentence.