A drunk driving conviction can lead to serious long-term consequences. An experienced DC DUI lawyer could help a defendant fight charges and reduce penalties if they are found guilty.
A skilled drunk driving lawyer in DC may be able to challenge the accuracy of evidence, including field sobriety tests and chemical blood or breath tests. An attorney could also challenge the legal basis for a traffic stop.
Refusal to Take a Breath or Blood Test
In Washington DC, when someone is arrested for DUI they are asked to provide a breath or urine sample for alcohol analysis. These tests are required by implied consent law because when you get a driver’s license in the District of Columbia you automatically agree to take these types of chemical tests.
For those people who choose to refuse a breath test the government has to prove their intoxication based on other evidence. They can have the officer who pulled them over testify that they smelled alcohol on the defendant’s breath and other observations such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes or poor performance on the SFST’s.
A skilled DUI lawyer in DC could attack these type of testimony to weaken the case against their client. They could also contest the validity of the testing equipment arguing that it was improperly calibrated or maintained and therefore not accurate or reliable.
In blood and urine cases, the attorneys could challenge the reliability of the tests by arguing that the blood was not stored properly or subjected to too much handling between the time it was taken for the test and the time it was analyzed in the lab. This can lead to fermentation of the blood resulting in a falsely high BAC.
Refusal to Take a SFST
Most law enforcement agencies use the NHTSA-approved battery of SFST tests (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, Walk-and-Turn Test and One-Leg Stand Test). Performing poorly on these tests may be considered enough evidence to arrest you for DUI. A skilled drunk driving lawyer could attack this type of evidence with skillful cross-examination to reveal weaknesses in the science that validates these tests and demonstrate that the officer did not administer them strictly per NHTSA guidelines.
In some cases, police officers will be able to use the person’s refusal of a breath, blood or urine test as evidence of consciousness of guilt in court. A criminal conviction for DUI in DC can have lasting consequences like revocation of a license, increased auto insurance rates, negative credit ratings and limitations on travel destinations.
It is important to consult with a Washington, DC, DUI attorney as soon as possible after being arrested for DUI to determine whether to take the case to trial or work out a plea deal. A skilled drunk driving lawyer could help you avoid serious penalties like jail time and a license suspension. Call today to schedule your consultation with a Washington, DC, DUI lawyer. Your attorney could also schedule a DMV hearing or other court dates for you.
Refusal to Take a Blood or Urine Test
When an individual is arrested for a DUI and taken to the police station they are required to submit to chemical testing, either a breath, blood or urine test. This is due to DC’s implied consent law that states that by operating a vehicle on the road you have given your permission to have these tests conducted.
A person can refuse to take the test however they will need to weigh out a well-documented religious objection before the court. If they do not have a valid reason then the court could decide that their consciousness of guilt is weighing on them enough for their refusal to be considered as evidence at their trial.
Having a drunk driving lawyer is an important step to help minimize your penalties in your DUI case. A conviction can mean jail time, fines and a long hard time finding employment in the future. Your DC DUI attorney can help you fight to keep your record clean and minimize your penalties.
It is not just a person’s BAC that can be used against them to prove intoxication it could also be their performance on field sobriety tests or even the results of the breath/blood/urine tests. This is why it is so important to have a qualified DC DUI lawyer on your side.