Being charged with DUI and having to appear in court can be more than a little overwhelming. Driving under the influence is a very serious offense and one that comes with many severe consequences…not just in the form of punishments but also the overall effect on your family and work. While law enforcement certainly does its best to keep inebriated drivers off the road, there are a number of test factors an officer might use to show that you were intoxicated, when, in fact, the test itself could be faulty and show you to be over the legal limit when you weren’t. So how is justice served in the courtroom in the case of a DUI charge?
I failed the Breath Test
Commonly, if an officer suspects you of drunk driving, you’ll be asked to take a breathalyzer test. The officer uses the outcome of this test to determine whether or not you are actually intoxicated at the time you were pulled over. While a breathalyzer is typically more accurate than a field sobriety test, it is by no means infallible. There are several different factors that can affect the outcome of a breath test. These factors can include:
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Hyper/ Hypoglycemia
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
These are only a few of the factors that can produce flawed breathalyzer results. In the case of diabetes, a state called ketoacidosis causes the production acetone which will be reported by the breathalyzer as alcohol. In the cases of asthma and COPD, the restricted airways increase the temperature of the breath sample provided which can cause the breathalyzer to show a higher than actual result for BAC. Without proper knowledge and experience, these things are hard to prove in court.
The Officer told me I failed the Field Sobriety Test
During the course of a DUI stop police officers routinely conduct Standardized Field Sobriety testing. These tests, when conducted in a manner approved by the NHTSA, can be used to help gauge if a person is under the influence of alcohol. The problem is that, even with specialized training, these tests are often improperly conducted and are highly subjective. That, combined with other factors such as pre-existing biological conditions such as age and weight, physical injuries or even noise from passing traffic and uneven terrain can all affect the outcome of your test, leading the officer to falsely charge you with DUI.
The Pursuit of Justice in a Maryland DUI Case
Simply put, most people don’t have the advanced knowledge of DUI Laws or extensive Courtroom experience necessary to successfully defend themselves against a drunk driving charge. That is why it is crucial to have an experienced DUI defense attorney to represent you during a DUI case. An experienced DUI lawyer will understand the science behind breath testing, the protocol for FSTS and have a keen understanding of Maryland DUI laws. If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, then contact the legal offices of Alpert Schreyer today for a free consultation.