Three DWI Defenses You Didn’t Know About
If you were stopped for suspicion of drunk driving and are now facing a DWI charge, you probably feel fearful and defeated, like you have nowhere to turn for help. It is common for people to lose hope when facing a charge of this type, but hopelessness does not have to be the case. Even if you feel all of the odds are against you, you still have many possible defenses that could lessen the potential consequences of conviction, if not get them dropped completely. There are three common defenses used in DWI cases of which most people are not aware:
Breathalyzer malfunction or misuse
Many people feel that if they took a breathalyzer test and failed, there is no hope in a DWI case. This is not true. Breathalyzers are machines that operate in a certain way, and police officers must follow certain protocol when administering a breathalyzer test. The test is subject to both mechanical and human error. Mechanically, a higher body temperature, the intake of certain foods, and an incorrectly calibrated machine can lead to an improper or illegal reading. When it comes to human error, it could be a mistake in administration, or even just a mistake in reading the machine. Whatever the case, if you have been subject to an improper or incorrect breathalyzer reading, it may be possible to get the test’s evidence disregarded in your case.
Improbable causes for traffic stop
Police officers are not allowed to make traffic stops without reason. They must have reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed. For a DWI, reasonable suspicion would include speeding, swerving, and ignoring road signs and lights, among other things. If you were obeying all traffic laws, driving straight, not giving any reason for suspicion, and police still stopped you, it could fall under improbable cause for a traffic stop.
Improbable suspicion of intoxication
There are signs officers look for when determining whether a driver is intoxicated. Slurred words, bloodshot eyes, and stumbling are some physical signs that officers look for in a suspected drunk driver. Police also use field sobriety tests to determine the physical and mental alertness of a driver. Any of these physical signs or failing to pass a field sobriety test may lead an officer to arrest and charge a person with a DWI. However, a driver does not need to be drunk to have these symptoms or fail a sobriety test. Many other factors and situations could play into their appearance. Allergies and contact lenses could cause eye redness; medications, lack of sleep, or physical impairment could cause slurring of speech, unstable walking, and problems associated with the field sobriety tests. If this is the case, the court could disregard evidence about the officer’s observations.
Contact a Westchester DWI Lawyer
A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will know which defense works best for your case. At the Law Offices of Richard A. Portale, P.C., we will use our experience with DWI charges to guide you through the complicated legal process and build the best defense possible for you. We are devoted to helping our clients and fighting for their legal rights. Contact our office at (914) 772-3166 to discuss the details of your case.