You Can Defend Your DUI Charges!
In Washington state there are a number of ways to defend your DUI case. Every DUI case is unique and we have to look at each DUI charge its own merits. While the law seems straightforward there are many intricacies and rules that must be followed.
In Washington state it is against the law to drive or be in physical control of a motor vehicle:
- And the person has, within two hours after driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
- While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or
- While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.
Notice the word "or" above. Under this law, a person can have a breath test of under a .08, but still be affected by alcohol, or a combination of alcohol or drugs. This could allow for a DUI conviction.
In order to defend DUI cases, we have to take a "two prong" approach. If there is a breath test, we have to try and figure out a way to get it thrown out, show that it should actually be below a .08, or that it was not accurate or reliable. If you did poorly on physical tests such as the field sobriety tests, then we have to figure out a way to attack those. Below are some of the things we have used in DUI cases in the past.
Here are some of the ways we have gotten breath tests thrown out by judges in the past:
- The officer did not read the implied consent warnings.
- The officer read the incorrect implied consent warnings.
- The person was confused about the implied consent warnings and that confusion was not clarified.
- The officer was not properly certified to give a breath test.
- The officer did not check the person's mouth prior to giving a breath test.
- The officer did not observe the person for 15 minutes prior to the breath test being administered.
- The person had mouth jewelery in his or her mouth at the time of the breath test.
- The person had chewing tobacco in his or her mouth at the time of the breath test.
- The person put something in his or her mouth prior to the breath test.
- The breath test machine read an "invalid" sample and the officer did not do a new mouth check.
- The breath test machine did not go through a proper "quality assurance procedure".
If the breath test is admitted into evidence, we challenge it:
- Did our client suffer from a medical condition that elevated the breath test?
- Elevated temperature
- Acid reflux
- Did our client have something in his or her mouth that could have trapped alcohol?
- Other oral problems
- Was the breath test machine working accurately on the night of the arrest?
- Was the breath test working reliably on the night of arrest?
- What was the "uncertainty" level of the breath test? I.e. how far was the breath test off?
How do you argue someone was not "affected by" alcohol?
- Was there poor driving? If so, was there a reason for it other than alcohol?
- Were the field sobriety test conducted properly?
- Did the person have any balance problems caused by physical limitations or disabilities?
- What statements were given?
- How did the person act or behave?
All DUI cases are unique. We talk to you to try and figure out what would be the best defense in your case. We then look at the police report and breath test records to see if the officer made any errors. From there we work on getting you the best possible result for the charges against you.