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DUI Defenses Explained by a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Denver


January 18, 2017

If you’ve been pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence in Denver or the Front Range, make sure you remember that DUI charges do not always lead to a conviction. With the help of a DUI defense lawyer in Colorado, you may be able to fight your charges using one of these common defenses:

The officer did not follow standard procedures.

DUI enforcement officers can only pull you over if they have a reasonable suspicion (sometimes called probable cause) that you have committed, are committing, or are about to commit a criminal or traffic offense. If you can prove there was a lack of reasonable suspicion, and therefore the officer should not have pulled you over, any evidence the officer collected during the stop may be thrown out—including your breathalyzer results and your performance on the roadside sobriety maneuvers.

The breathalyzer results were not accurate.

If you blow above a 0.08 on the breathalyzer, you will be arrested for driving under the influence. However, alcohol is not the only thing that could affect how you score on this crucial test. Residual mouth alcohol can raise your breathalyzer score even though you are not intoxicated. What causes residual mouth alcohol? Taking a swig of mouthwash, a dose of cough syrup, or spritzing a breath freshener in your mouth could all lead to residual mouth alcohol. If this happens to you, your attorney could argue the results of the breathalyzer were misleading because you were not intoxicated, but rather had residual alcohol in your mouth.

The test was administered incorrectly.

DUI enforcement officers have to follow certain guidelines when administering a breathalyzer test to someone they suspect is under the influence. For example, most states prohibit police officers from taking a breathalyzer reading after the subject has burped or vomited. In Colorado, police officers must wait for twenty minutes has passed before taking the test, otherwise the results are not reliable. If your attorney can prove the police officer did not do so, the results of the breathalyzer may be thrown out. Learn how to properly use a breathalyzer.

Miranda rights were not read.

Everyone has heard “you have the right to remain silent” in TV shows and movies, but do you know what this right means? This is the first of many Miranda rights that must be read to you once you are placed under arrest. If a police officer fails to read these rights to you, some of the evidence against you may be thrown out. For example, if the police officer never informs you of your right to remain silent, and you are questioned about how much you had to drink, your answer could be inadmissible.  This is a very fact-specific question and will require an experienced DUI defense lawyer to analyze. 

If you have you been charged with a DUI, the Denver Law Office of John Buckley can assist you with every aspect of your legal case. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure our clients receive the best representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley today to schedule a legal consultation.