If a police officer stops and pulls you over at a California DUI checkpoint, they can determine whether or not to administer a breathalyzer test to check for the level of alcohol in your system. If your BAC reading is 0.08% or above, the office can arrest you with drunk driving or DUI charges.
Working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is always useful. If you believe you have been wrongfully arrested, your attorney can investigate possible DUI arrest mistakes. From incorrect breathalyzer results to unprofessional police behavior, or even lack of proper procedures, establishing a DUI arrest mistake can lead to charge dismissals.
Incorrect Breathalyzer Results
Breathalyzers can quickly test the amount of alcohol in your system to determine whether you are legally drunk. The problem is that various factors can impact your BAC reading and lead to incorrect results.
Some mistakes can happen due to an officer’s negligence like not changing the mouthpiece before administering the test or not properly calibrating the device.
Specific health conditions or diets can also lead to false readings, including diabetes and the Atkins diet. Even something as simple as having a mint in your mouth right before taking the breathalyzer test can interfere with your BAC readings.
Other things can negatively impact your BAC results, including taking a breathing sample outside of the appropriate timeframe. Working with an attorney who is familiar with DUI cases can help establish an arrest mistake.
Other Types of DUI Arrest Mistakes
Under California law, police officers should only stop you or make a DUI arrest if they can establish enough probable cause. Vague suspicion is not enough, and you may want to challenge the charges. Be mindful that if you are pulled at a legal checkpoint, DUI officers are doing their duty and do not require probable cause.
If police officers are not in uniform or in a marked vehicle when they stop you, you have the right to challenge your BAC results or arrest. Without a proper uniform or vehicle, it is difficult to recognize police officers, which is why they are not legally allowed to proceed to DUI stops and arrests in such cases.
You can also contest charges if the officer did not read Miranda Rights to you before the arrest, or if they exhibit hostile and unprofessional behavior.
A police officer generally administers a field sobriety test to get a more accurate idea of your impairment. When testing your coordination, certain issues may happen that interfere with the test and your results, including slippery road conditions, age, unknown medical conditions, or insufficient lighting.
Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
Contacting a reputable lawyer who has a thorough knowledge of the DUI process can make a significant difference in dismissing charges due to arrest mistakes. They can counsel you about what to do throughout the legal proceedings, but they can effectively gather evidence and look for mistakes.
One of the options an attorney has is to visit the arrest site for potential incongruences with the police officer’s report, especially the field sobriety test. They can also carefully review all documents about your arrest and the charges, including whether the police determined probable cause. They can verify that the officer who administered the breathalyzer test had the appropriate certification.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can walk you through the various steps to get the charges dismissed, which increases your chances of success.
If you believe you have been wrongfully arrested for DUI in the East Bay area, contact The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed today at (510) 907-6600 to schedule an appointment.