What Legal Defenses May Be Used in a Connecticut Drunk Driving Case?
Anyone who drives a motor vehicle with an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) may be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Connecticut. An elevated BAC is defined as 0.08 percent for adults and 0.02 percent for drivers under the age of 21. If convicted of drunk driving, an individual faces an immediate administrative driver’s license suspension and a possible jail sentence of up to 6 months. If the offender’s BAC was significantly above the legal limit, he or she has previously been convicted of DUI, or there are other aggravating factors, the penalties associated with DUI are much more severe. If you or a loved one have been charged with DUI, read on to learn about the legal defenses that may be used to avoid conviction.
Defending Against a Connecticut DUI
To secure a conviction for DUI, prosecutors must prove that a driver’s alcohol consumption led him or her to be intoxicated and therefore unable to operate a vehicle safely. DUI defenses typically fall under one of two categories:
The Evidence Used to Charge The Driver Was Inadequate or Flawed: There are several chemical tests that are used to determine an individual’s blood alcohol content. The most common is a breath alcohol content test such as a Breathalyzer. Blood tests and urine tests may also be used. If the results of these tests are inaccurate, the driver’s true BAC is unknown. A Breathalyzer or other chemical BAC test may yield inaccurate results because the testing instrument was not calibrated correctly or was somehow damaged. BAC test results may also be inaccurate if the police officer or healthcare worker administrating the test administers it incorrectly. Clerical errors such as mislabeled or mixed up test results may also lead to inaccurate results.
The Arresting Officer Did Not Have Probable Cause to Conduct a Traffic Stop: Police officers cannot pull a car over for just any reason. They must have “probable cause” to believe that the driver was committing some type of criminal offense. Although, it should be noted that DUI checkpoints are an exception to the probable cause requirement. Often, an officer pulls over a driver on suspicion of drunk driving because he or she is swerving, drifting between lanes, or otherwise driving erratically. If your attorney can prove that there was not sufficient probable cause to conduct a traffic stop, the evidence used to convict you may be inadmissible in court.
Contact a Fairfield County DUI Defense Lawyer
DUI convictions can have major legal and personal ramifications including the loss of driving privileges and possible jail time. If you or someone you care about were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Connecticut, contact a skilled Norwalk criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner to begin building your defense. Call us at 203-348-5846 for a free, confidential consultation.