When a person is arrested in Utah for driving under the influence, police must have what is called probable cause to make the arrest. In order to establish probable cause for a DUI charge, officers typically use testing procedures. Those tests can be analyzed as part of a DUI defense to determine whether police appropriately established a legal reason to take someone into custody.
If you are pulled over, the officer must have a valid reason for doing so. The circumstances of the traffic stop will be reviewed first. Without establishing a legal basis for the stop, the DUI may not be valid.
Regardless of the legality of the stop, an officer will most likely begin conducting tests to determine whether you are intoxicated. He or she may check for the smell of alcohol, blood shot eyes and difficulty speaking. If the officer suspects you are intoxicated, other tests such as field sobriety tests and a portable breath test may be performed. These tests are to be done in accordance with standard procedures.
Reviewing how these tests were conducted can reveal whether they were administered correctly. Even if they were done correctly, they are not the best evidence of intoxication. The portable breath test does not measure your blood alcohol content, only whether alcohol is present. However, these tests are used to substantiate an arrest. Only then can police request that you submit to a Breathalyzer test or blood draw.
A DUI defense will most likely include attempting to have the results of these tests thrown out as evidence against you. Even there is no guarantee that the tests will be invalidated by a Utah court, it may be possible to keep as much of this evidence as possible out of court at trial. For these reasons and more, it is crucial that you engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after a DUI arrest.