If a law enforcement officer does not stop your vehicle or does not suspect that you may be under the influence, it will naturally minimize your risk of a DUI arrest. An experienced Alabama DUI attorney would offer the following advice to reduce your chances of being stopped by a police officer:
- Make sure you have a valid vehicle registration
- Do not violate any traffic laws
- Ensure that your vehicle is in a street-legal condition (faulty equipment such as broken light or a defective turn signal can cause an officer to initiate a traffic stop)
- When a law enforcement officer stops you, don’t volunteer information
- Refuse to undergo a field sobriety test
Be Courteous but not Extra-Cooperative with the Law Enforcement Officer
When a police officer stops you on suspicion of DUI, you must remain polite, calm, and courteous with them. However, that does not mean willfully revealing any incriminating information, which can make it more challenging for your DUI lawyer to defend you. On the law enforcement officer’s request, you must present your vehicle insurance proof and driver’s license. However, you are not required to respond to questions such as:
- Are you intoxicated?
- How many drinks did you consume?
- Were you drinking alcohol with friends a few hours earlier?
If the police officer asks any questions that could incriminate you, politely decline to answer. The best response to these questions would be that you will answer all questions only after you have had the chance to consult an Alabama DUI attorney.
Violation of Constitutional Provisions
Your DUI lawyer will critically assess all facets and evidence pertaining to your case to understand whether your constitutional rights have been violated. The constitution provides citizens with certain rights and protections even when they are arrested, and police officers have a duty to uphold these provisions.
If a police officer obtains evidence against you in an unlawful manner, your lawyer can ensure that such evidence is precluded from your trial. For example, it is a constitutional violation if your Miranda Rights were not properly read to you.
Lack of Reasonable Suspicion for a Traffic Stop
The reason why a police officer stopped or arrested you for a DUI violation can be challenged by your DUI defense attorney. The reason the law enforcement officer stopped you might be subjective and unsubstantiated.
Police officers do not have a free reign to stop any car that they want. If your lawyer can prove that there was a lack of reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle, it may be grounds for the suppression of evidence acquired during or after the traffic stop.
Challenging the Results of Field Sobriety Tests
If you have consented to undergo the field sobriety tests on the law enforcement officer’s request, your DUI attorney can question the validity of these tests, which are highly subjective. They could demonstrate that you were not an appropriate candidate for these tests, or that the law enforcement officer’s instructions lacked clarity. Your attorney may present data or expert testimony to prove that these tests and their outcomes are not reliable in your case.
Questioning the BAC Test Results
If you submitted to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test upon your arrest, a seasoned Alabama DUI attorney would devise a strong legal defense based on proving that you were not drunk behind the wheel. They will conduct a thorough investigation to identify the weaknesses in the legal protocols and procedures that police officers followed when collecting and testing your blood samples.
At the time of collection, the sample may have been compromised. On top of this, the breathalyzer device may have been faulty, or the test readings may not be reliable. Sometimes lab errors occur, where the technicians mix up samples, cause contamination, or fail to follow protocol. A critical and in-depth investigation of all aspects related to the case may bring forth information that puts an indelible question mark over the reliability BAC test outcomes.
Why did the Accident Occur?
If you injured someone or were involved in a crash and got arrested for drunk driving, your lawyer may try to show that the accident did not happen due to your fault. Your DUI defense lawyer will conduct a detailed investigation of the accident site, the surroundings, eyewitness accounts, forensic evidence, or video recordings to recreate how the crash occurred.
Various factors such as adverse road conditions, vehicle defects, or an error by the injured victim could have caused the accident. In case the other party violated traffic rules which caused the accident and their injuries, you could avoid being charged with a felony DUI. In this situation, your defense attorney could create a robust legal strategy that could expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments, and you could win the lawsuit.
Hire a Skilled DUI Defense Attorney to Help you Avoid Jail Time
The qualified attorneys at Zach Peagler Law Firm have extensive experience defending clients who face DUI charges in Alabama. For a free consultation with a seasoned DUI defense attorney, call us today at (205) 871-9990 or message us online.