7 DUI Defenses in Colorado
Getting charged with a DUI can seem like a nightmare. If you’re facing DUI charges, it’s understandable that you may be feeling scared—a DUI conviction carries lifelong penalties, including jail time, heavy fines, and a stain on your permanent record.
However, it’s important to understand that being charged with a DUI does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to give up and accept the DUI charges. Instead of surrendering, you should hire a Colorado defense attorney and fight for your rights. A skilled attorney who is familiar with local DUI laws knows there are many ways to effectively defend this type of charge. Below, we’ve listed seven of the most effective defense strategies a lawyer might use to help you get your Colorado DUI charge reduced or dismissed altogether.
1. Illegal stop of driver. It is illegal for a police officer to pull you over without probable cause that a traffic law or other law has been violated. In Colorado, an officer cannot pull you over for weaving within your lane, or as a response to an anonymous tip that you were drinking and driving. If your arresting officer stopped you illegally, you may be able to have the charges against you dropped.
2. Invalid or inaccurate field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests like the walk-and-turn or the one-leg stand are often inaccurate, and may never be used to determine the sobriety of a person who is injured, older than 65, overweight, or who has a special medical condition. Additionally, the government does not recognize tests such as counting backwards or touching your nose to be valid. If your arresting officer used any of these tests to determine inebriation, you by be able to have the results declared inaccurate or invalid.
3. Inaccurate breathalyzer. A single breathalyzer test is often not enough to prove inebriation, as results are often swayed by outside factors. Similarly, if any officer administers the test improperly, you may be able to have the results dismissed as invalid.
4. Inaccurate blood tests. If police officers or lab specialists did not handle your blood samples properly, there is a possibility that they may have been contaminated. Prove this in court, and your blood test results may be declared invalid.
5. Medical conditions. Oftentimes, arresting officers will cite red eyes or slurred speech as evidence that the driver was intoxicated. If these conditions were actually symptoms of a medical condition, you can help your case by proving this in court.
6. Illegal DUI checkpoints. Under federal law, police must abide by very strict rules when operating DUI checkpoints. If you can prove that your arresting officer failed to follow these rules, you may be able to have your charges dropped entirely.
7. Illegal search. An officer may not search you or your car without your permission or probable cause. This is arguably a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, which protect people from illegal search and seizure. If you can demonstrate an illegal search has occurred, all evidence gathered through the search will have to be thrown out of court.
These are only a handful of the many effective DUI defenses your lawyer may be able to use. If you are facing a Colorado DUI, consult with a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine which strategies will be most effective for your unique case, and use this strategy to defend your rights in court.