DUI Tests & Their Importance
When a police officer makes a traffic stop and suspects that a driver is intoxicated, the officer has several ways to determine if a driver has been drinking.
The first way the officer is likely to detect an intoxicated driver is by smelling alcohol on the breath, noticing slurred speech, or observing red and irritated eyes.
If the officer suspects that the driver has been drinking, he or she may perform an eye test (horizontal gaze nystagmus or bouncing vision test), ask the driver to take a portable breath test (PBT), or ask the driver to exit the vehicle and take a field sobriety test (walking a straight line, standing on one foot, etc).
If the officer believes there is probable cause that the driver is impaired, the officer will make a DUI arrest.
Why Are DUI Tests So Important?
Before a police officer may arrest a driver for DUI, there are several steps that must be taken and several legal thresholds that must be met.
First, the officer must have sufficient cause to make a lawful vehicle stop. If the officer had no reason to stop you, your DUI arrest may have been invalid — and an experienced defense attorney may be able to get your case dismissed.
Second, the officer must have probable cause to make a valid arrest. It is not enough that the officer merely suspects that you were intoxicated. They need to demonstrate that they had probable cause to believe that you were in fact impaired. To do so, they rely on a combination of evidence that includes the results of the PBT test, eye test and field sobriety test.
It is only after your arrest that the officer has a right to have you take the breathalyzer test. This is critical because the field sobriety tests are not a strong form of evidence, and the PBT test only detects the presence of alcohol. The PBT does not provide a valid reading of your actual blood alcohol content (BAC).
We Attack DUI Charges By Attacking DUI Tests
At the law offices of Kristopher K. Greenwood & Associates we aggressively defend the rights of clients charged with DUI. One of the ways we attack DUI charges is by attacking the validity of traffic stops and DUI tests. If we can show that a field sobriety test was performed in an invalid manner or that the officer lied about the results of a field sobriety test, we may be able to convince the judge in your case that the officer lacked probable cause to make the arrest. This can result in a complete dismissal of your charges.
Even if the judge does not completely dismiss all the charges, we may be able to successfully suppress enough evidence of a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test to ultimately win your case at trial. By vigorously challenging DUI tests and vehicle stops, we have helped many clients fight back against the unfair charges.
Contact Our Law Offices In Utah
If you are facing serious charges and need an aggressive defense, contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers at the law offices of Kristopher K. Greenwood & Associates. To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call (801) 475-8800 or contact us by e-mail.