According to the CDC, more than 1 million people are arrested for alleged DUI every year.
Many of these people have their worlds turned upside down as a result of their DUI arrests. They’re forced to shell out thousands of dollars in legal fees and penalties, often lose their driver’s licenses and, in some cases, even their freedom for at least a little bit of time.
If you’re ever arrested for allegedly driving under the influence, you should hire a DUI lawyer immediately. They can talk to you about how to beat a DUI so that it doesn’t take a lasting toll on your life.
There are all sorts of different defenses that a DUI lawyer can offer up to help you steer clear of having a DUI hanging over your head for years to come. Here are seven tips on how to beat a DUI with help from a trusted lawyer.
1. Dispute Why Police Pulled You Over in the First Place
Before a police officer can pull you over and investigate whether or not you might be driving under the influence, they need to have a good reason for stopping you. Technically, they’re not allowed to pull you over just because they have a hunch you might be drinking and driving.
They might pull you over after seeing you:
- Driving over the speed limit
- Swerving in and out of traffic
- Failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign
- Driving way slower than you should be
- Riding around with one headlight or no taillights
Whatever the case, a police officer needs to have a reason—and a strong reason at that—for making the decision to pull you over. They have to make a note of this right at the very start of the DUI report that they put together.
When it comes to figuring out how to beat a DUI, one of the easiest ways to do it is by getting your DWI lawyer to call a police officer’s reason for pulling you over into question. If they can prove the police officer didn’t have a good reason for pulling you over, your DUI might get dismissed right away.
2. Challenge the Reasons Police Gave for Suspecting You Were Under the Influence
Once a police officer pulls you over for, say, driving too fast or driving without a working headlight, they might suspect that you are driving under the influence. They’ll list why they thought you were driving under the influence in their official report on your DUI arrest.
In some cases, they might list your bloodshot eyes and your slurred speech as reasons for suspecting you were under the influence. In others, they might list your poor motor skills or your general mood as reasons for wanting to investigate your sobriety further.
In theory, these might seem like solid enough reasons to suspect someone of DUI. But at the same time, there might be a perfectly good reason why you had, say, red eyes or slurred speech at the time of your DUI arrest.
Maybe you were taking a new medication that caused your eyes to become dry and red. Or maybe you suffer from a medical condition that affects your speech patterns or your motor skills from time to time.
You and your DUI lawyer have the right to challenge whatever reasons a police officer gave for suspecting you might be driving under the influence.
3. Question the Reliability of the Field Sobriety Tests Given to You
When a police officer suspects a person might be driving around impaired by alcohol, they’ll often ask them to step out of their car to take part in a series of field sobriety tests. These tests have been used for decades now to help police figure out if someone is driving under the influence.
Some of the most common field sobriety tests are:
- The horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test
- The walk-and-turn test
- The one-leg stand test
Despite the widespread use of these field sobriety tests though, there is a lot of debate over whether or not they’re as reliable as some people say they are. Because of this, your DUI lawyer may question the reliability of the field sobriety tests given to you and get your DUI charges dismissed.
It all depends on which field sobriety tests were given to you and how well you performed during them. But there have been plenty of lawyers who have used field sobriety tests in favor of their clients, even when their clients didn’t pass these tests with flying colors.
4. Argue Against the Results of a Breathalyzer Test
If you fail one or more field sobriety tests after you’re pulled over for suspected DUI, you’ll usually get asked to take a breathalyzer test. These tests are designed to see where your blood alcohol level stands.
For years now, the legal BAC has been 0.08%. But some states, like Utah, have started to crack down on drunk drivers by reducing the legal BAC to just 0.05%.
If your BAC is above the legal limit in your state, you’ll be arrested on the spot and charged with DUI. But that won’t always be the end of the story, as some DUI lawyers will argue against the results delivered by a breathalyzer test.
For example, your DUI lawyer might successfully argue that you were hyperventilating during your breathalyzer test, which can affect the results of these tests. They might also successfully argue that you used a breath spray product that caused your BAC to spike way higher than it actually was.
It’s not always easy to prove that the results of a breathalyzer test were wrong. But it can be done by a talented and experienced DUI lawyer.
5. Prove That Police Didn’t Take the Time to Mirandize You
Any time a police officer places someone under arrest, they need to Mirandize them. That is to say that they have to tell them that they have a right to remain silent and that anything they say while they’re arrested can be used against them later in court.
A police officer also needs to tell a person placed under arrest that they have the right to an attorney. If they don’t Mirandize them properly, it could spell trouble for them later.
In fact, all of the evidence collected during your DUI arrest could be considered inadmissible later on if a police officer didn’t Mirandize you. And it’s not all that uncommon for police to fail to Mirandize someone while they’re in the process of trying to place them under arrest for alleged DUI.
Your lawyer will speak with you about whether or not you were Mirandized during your arrest. They might also be able to check out dash-cam footage of your arrest to see if you were read your rights prior to getting placed into the back of a cop car.
6. Bring up the Possibility of Police Misconduct in Your Case
Do you feel as though you were mistreated in some way while police were testing you for DUI and placing you under arrest?
There might be something on the aforementioned dash-cam video that shows that police didn’t treat you the way they’re supposed to while arresting you. You might also have claims of your own that weren’t captured on camera.
Over the last decade, there have been tens of thousands of police officers who have been investigated for police misconduct. If you believe a police officer may have mistreated you in some way, your DUI lawyer can look into it more to see what they can uncover.
7. Lean on Your DUI Lawyer to Come up With Other Plausible DUI Defenses
Great DUI lawyers have worked on their fair share of DUI cases and found all sorts of ways to get their clients out of trouble during them. Don’t be afraid to lean on a lawyer if you’re not sure how to beat a DUI.
Your lawyer will do some digging around to see what they can find in your official DUI report. They’ll also talk to you to see which defenses they think might work once your case goes to court.
It’s a good idea to find the best DUI lawyer as soon as you can following a DUI arrest. They could be the difference between you beating a DUI and you paying a small fortune in fines and potentially even ending up in jail.
Know How to Beat a DUI in Court Before Trying to Fight It
Getting a DUI dismissed in court isn’t going to be easy. If you have a mountain of evidence stacked against you, knowing how to get out of a DUI isn’t going to help you much.
But there are DUI cases dismissed every year all across the country. With the right DUI lawyer by your side and some basic knowledge on how to beat a DUI, you might be able to get the job done. It’s worth a shot when you think about the alternative.
Read our blog for more tips on what to do in the aftermath of a DUI arrest.