Have you been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) in Colorado? If you wish to fight the case being filed against you, your DUI attorney will need to examine your case and consider all the possible defenses to your case.
With a sound potential defense to your DUI case, your attorney may be able to either reduce or even dismiss the charges that you are being asked to plead guilty to. The same potential defenses may also help you avoid getting your driving privileges revoked.
A DUI can be a complex matter, and so potential defenses in such a case can be practically limitless. Many defenses, however, can be associated with the following areas:
- Driving Defenses: In a drunk driving case, intoxication is not sufficient. It must also be established by the prosecution that you were actually driving a vehicle. Though officers often make a DUI arrest after pulling the driver over, there are instances where the officer may not have directly observed you being the driver. In the case of accidents, for instance, there may be no witnesses to you being the driver of the vehicle involved.
- Probable Cause: Colorado local authorities must have probable cause to stop, detain, and arrest you. If an officer pulls you over without adequate reasonable suspicion, then all subsequent evidence obtained by the officer cannot be admitted at trial.
- Miranda Rights: A police officer does not need to read your Miranda rights until you have been arrested and the officer is conducting a custodial interrogation. Only under these conditions must you be advised of your Miranda rights. Statements you have made when your Miranda rights have not yet been given should not be used as evidence in your case. The case against you may be reduced or even dismissed depending on how weighty those statements are.
- “Impaired Driving”: It is possible to question the arresting officer’s opinions and observations as to your level of intoxication. This includes the circumstances under which the field sobriety tests were conducted, or the subjective nature of what the officer defines as you “failing” these tests.
- Witness Testimony: If your case goes to trial, you may be allowed to call witnesses to testify on behalf of your case. A witness may therefore testify that you were not drinking before driving, that you seemed to be lucid, or that you were driving recklessly because you were involved in an argument with a passenger and not because you were impaired by alcohol.
- Other Explanations for Your Physical Appearance: A potential DUI defense is to present information countering the officer’s claims. The arresting officer, for example, may claim that you had blood-shot eyes or slurred speech at the time you were pulled over. A doctor may be able to testify that you had bloodshot eyes due to bad allergies or because you wear contact lenses, or that you were slurring because of an existing speech impediment.
- Testing During the Absorptive Phase: Complete absorption takes the body anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours, and even this may be delayed if there is food in the stomach. Breath, blood, and urine test results may be deemed unreliable if they are conducted while the body of the accused is still actively absorbing alcohol.
- Blood-Alcohol Testing Regulations: Colorado law outlines strict requirements as to how breath and blood tests must be given to a driver. The prosecution must establish that the tests performed complied with the requirements set by the state in terms of how the machines were calibrated, maintained, and serviced. If proper procedures were not followed or if there is proof that the machine was not working properly, the results may be deemed inadmissible. The BAC result may also be thrown out if there is evidence that shows the technician performing the test was not competent or was not properly certified.
- Involuntary Intoxication: An involuntary intoxication defense can absolve you of criminal responsibility for your conduct if it can be proven that a substance was introduced into your body without your knowledge or permission, thus there being no voluntary act of consumption.
Though there are numerous defenses to a Colorado DUI or DWAI, the best defense is the one that works for you. If you have been charged with a Colorado DUI or DWAI, it is crucial to contact a DUI attorney immediately. Call Goldman Law, LLC to schedule a consultation with our defense team so we can discuss how to best defend you from the consequences of a DUI or DWAI conviction.