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What are some common defenses to a DUI charge?

A person in Nevada who has been accused of drunk driving may think the situation is hopeless. They may think nothing can be done, and that they will suffer the harsh consequences of a conviction, including fines, the loss of their driver's license or even jail time. However, while this post cannot guarantee any particular result in a person's drunk driving case, in general there a number of defenses that a person accused of drunk driving may have at their disposal.

First of all, a person can challenge the traffic stop itself. Police must have probable cause in order to pull a vehicle over. If this is lacking then the traffic stop was improper, and the accused cannot be convicted of drunk driving.

In addition, a person can challenge the field sobriety test. They could argue that the police did not properly administer the test, resulting in inaccurate results. Similarly, a person could argue, if they were given a breath test, that the instrument was not properly calibrated or that the police were not properly trained in the use of the instrument. Also, if the person was given a second breath test at the police station, these results or the administration of the test itself can also be challenged.

Sometimes a person is given a blood test to determine their blood alcohol concentration. However, it is important that the chain of custody of the blood samples is not interfered with. For example, a person could argue that the blood sample was lost, mishandled or tampered with.

Finally, a person could argue that their BAC was under 0.08 while they were behind the wheel, and only increased after they were pulled over and given a breath test. This could technically happen if a person had a drink and then immediately began driving before the alcohol was completely absorbed into their body.

Keep in mind that this post cannot serve as the basis for any legal action, and there are other defense arguments that may be made in addition to the ones listed here. Therefore, those who are facing drunk driving charges may want to consult with a criminal defense attorney, to develop the strongest defense possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Defenses to Drunk Driving," Accessed Aug. 21, 2017

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