There are certain legal hurdles a prosecutor must cross in order to successfully prosecute a case. They must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, using evidence, testimony and other exhibits that a person was:
2) Intoxicated at the time.
Many of our clients wonder how a DUI can be defended if a prosecutor has ample evidence against them, such as a field sobriety test, or breath test that has a high reading. Let’s consider an example that will help us demonstrate on how a DUI can successfully be defended.
Dorian is leaving a party and heading home. At the party he had only a beer because he was not feeling well. He had taken some cold medicine earlier in the day and he did not want to get more sick. When he was leaving the party, he stopped at a drug store on his way home to buy some more medicine. He had accidentally left his headlights on when he had parked because he was in such a hurry. When he came out of the drug store, officers were by his care and questioned him about his ability to drive. Eventually, feeling that they had adequate evidence to suspect that Dorian was under the influence, they asked him to take a field sobriety test. Dorian wanted to comply, since he had not really been drinking, so he took the test. The reading came out as a .12. Dorian was arrested and taken into custody. He was later charged with a DUI.
The most efficient defense in this situation is that Dorian was not driving at the time officers found him. However, officers will argue that he had to have driven there, and he had to have driven to leave. So even if he was not driving at that moment, he would have been if they were not there.
Secondly, the facts do not add up. Dorian had only had one beer. This, although, would administer a reading on a field sobriety test, it would not be as high as a blood alcohol reading of .12. One of the factors that could have had an impact would be the fact that Dorian had been taking cold medicine that day, and cold medicine sometimes has some alcohol in it. However, it would not be to the amount that was registered in his system. The second explanation could be that the machine had a defect or some problem with it.
It would be highly recommended in this case that a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer asked for calibration and maintenance records for the machine that was used in the matter. Upon an independent evaluation or analysis from a third party lab, I would not be surprised to find that the machine was not administering accurate readings. If this is the case, the prosecutor will have to state his case without the reading from the machine.
Because Dorian was not slurring, and was not actually drunk, chance are that the Prosecutor will not be able to prove his case and the case will be dismissed. If you find yourself in a situation where defenses are available to you, be sure to consult with a legal professional as soon as possible!