If you are arrested for a DUI, you should be thinking about ways to prove that you should not be convicted of driving while intoxicated under Virginia law. While each case is different, and every defense is designed around the specific facts of a person’s case, there are numerous defenses that may be available if you are charged with a DUI in Virginia. The following are five possible defenses to a DUI.
You Were Not Actually Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated
In order to be convicted of driving while intoxicated in Virginia, the prosecution must be able to show that you were actually driving while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A common defense is that you were not actually driving under the influence at the time you were stopped or arrested. For example, you may have been driving, but you had not used alcohol or other drugs. Or, in some cases, you were not actually driving.
You Took a Field Sobriety Test That Was Inaccurate in Determining Whether You Were Intoxicated
Field sobriety tests are not always accurate in identifying drunk or otherwise impaired drivers. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is only accurate at identifying alcohol-impaired drivers in about 90 percent of traffic stops, and even that number assumes that the officer is properly trained to conduct the test.
You Were Stopped, Searched, or Arrested Unlawfully
In order to lawfully stop a driver for a DUI, an officer must have reasonable suspicion. In order to search a person—which includes taking evidence for purposes of assessing intoxication or a BAC level—an officer must have probable cause under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If there is no reasonable suspicion or probable cause, then an arrest may have been unlawful. It may be possible to argue that your Fourth Amendment rights were violated when you were stopped, searched, and arrested.
Police Officer Not Trained Properly on Breathalyzer
Breathalyzers can be complicated, and officers need to be trained properly on them. If your breathalyzer test was administered by an officer who was not properly trained, the results that indicated you had a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher may be inaccurate.
Blood Test Results Were Contaminated
Blood tests must be properly taken and stored. In some cases, medical devices or containers used to take blood tests in drunk driving cases are contaminated, leading to a contamination of the results. Results can be contaminated in a variety of ways, and it is important to speak with a Fairfax criminal defense attorney to learn more about how you can prove that your blood test results may have been contaminated.
Contact a Fairfax Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer
When you are facing drunk driving charges in Virginia, it is extremely important to have an experienced advocate on your side to develop a defense strategy in your case. An aggressive Fairfax drunk driving defense attorney can get started on your case today. Contact Whitestone Young, PC for more information about our criminal defense services.