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Building a defense against DUI charges

For people in Washington, a drunk driving arrest can carry long-lasting consequences. Because a DUI conviction can have such a serious impact on a person's life, it can be particularly important to mount a defense prior to going to court. There are several options that alleged offenders can use to overcome drunk driving charges.

One common argument in a DUI case involves challenging the traffic stop in the first place. This involves working to exclude evidence due to the stop itself being an improper police practice. When the traffic stop is clearly related to driving behavior and more difficult to challenge, an alleged offender could challenge the sobriety tests and breath tests administered at the scene. For example, an attorney could say the field sobriety tests were inaccurate or poorly administered by an untrained police officer.

Another more common defense involves challenging the breathalyzer test used at the scene. Breathalyzer devices must be calibrated and receive regular maintenance, and police who operate them must receive proper training. When police administer the test using a non-maintained machine, results can be unreliable. In addition, some people may also claim that they were driving legally at the time of the traffic stop but that their blood alcohol concentration rose after that time due to alcohol that had not yet been absorbed. This kind of defense can be more effective if the driver waited a significant period before the test was administered.

While there are many defenses that can be raised, a criminal defense attorney is often an important part of challenging DUI allegations. In some cases, legal counsel could present evidence that will lead to charges being dismissed.

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