Suppose one evening you are driving on I-215 and realize the “empty” light is blinking on your dashboard. You exit and end up in an unfamiliar part of Las Vegas. Driving around lost, you are reading street signs in search of a gas station and an officer sees that your car is swerving. The words “Drunk Driver” are flashing in front of the officer. You get pulled over and as nervous as you are, fail the Walk and Turn roadside test. Booked for a DUI— and you had not even been drinking.
The first thing to do is to write down all the events from the day of your arrest in as much details as possible. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses, or persons you interacted with before the arrest. Note the time of day, weather conditions, and any details that are relevant. Next, immediately contact a DUI lawyer—not just any lawyer, but an attorney who focuses on DUI cases and is highly trained and educated in the forensic science involved in BAC chemical testing. It is a serious matter — a DUI conviction is a criminal conviction and can follow your record for many years.
Here are 10 ways to Beat a DUI charge in Nevada.
1. Question the Traffic Stop: In order to stop a driver, an officer must be able to articulate a “reasonable suspicion” that a traffic violation has been committed. An arbitrary DUI traffic stop violates your rights under the Nevada and US Constitutions. If the traffic stop is found to be unconstitutional, we can file a “motion to suppress” seeking to exclude all evidence collected as a result of the unlawful stop.
2. Cite Reasons for Distracted Driving: Many times, police attribute general driving problems to drunk driving such as swerving, driving on the line or driving too slowly. There are many non-alcohol factors that can affect driving. Examples are using a cell phone, reading a map, talking to passengers and driving around lost.
3. Challenge the Arrest: Las Vegas police cannot arrest you without “probable cause” to do so (bloodshot eyes, failed field sobriety tests, odor of alcohol, slurred speech, unsteady gait, failed preliminary breath tests, etc.). We can argue that there were other causes for these symptoms like a medical condition, medication, allergies, or mouthwash. Contrary to the officer’s testimony, you may have actually been alert, coherent and performed reasonably well on the field sobriety tests.
4. Argue that Protocol was not followed: If the officer failed to read you your Miranda rights and continued to interrogate you after the arrest, your post-arrest statements can be excluded from evidence.
5. Fight the field sobriety tests: Challenge the administration of the field sobriety tests. Only three tests have been standardized and “validated” by the NHTSA –the “Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus,” the “Walk-and-Turn” and the “One-Leg Stand.”Even these three”validated” tests are highly inaccurate. The “One-Leg Stand” has a 35% error rate and the “Walk-and-Turn” has a 32% error rate. Any other test used will be rendered invalid in Court and the results thrown out.
6. Blame it On the Rain: Attribute substandard performance on roadside testing or poor driving to rain, sleet, snow, or a dark night. Health conditions – such as illness, injury, or obesity – may have prevented you from performing the tests in accordance with the officer’s subjective expectations. Some people perform poorly due to police-phobia or the embarrassment of onlookers.
7. Dispute the Breathalyzer Results: If you have a medical condition such as GERD or asthma, any reported breath test would be unreliable. If the breathalyzer picks up residual “mouth alcohol,”your reported result will be inflated. Even mouthwash or cough syrups can result in an elevated reading. Additionally, expert testimony can be introduced to attack the reliability of the machine in general orto establish that the machine was not calibratedproperly. Operators are also required to adhere to a 15 minute “observation period” prior to administering the test.
8. Challenge the blood test: Contamination may occur throughout the process of collecting, storing and analyzing a blood sample. Many times proper procedures are not followed. Common to all chemical tests are the machine’s inherent range of error. In some cases, we will obtain an independent BAC test for comparison. The goal is to establish reasonable doubt in the accuracy of these results, so that the jury will find you Not Guilty.
9. Introduce Witnesses to Attest to your Sobriety: These may be passengers in the car or people you interacted with shortly before the arrest. A witness who can testify that you were alert and coherent, with normal speech and competent driving, will combat the image of your condition that the police are putting forward.
10. Hire a good DUI defense attorney: An expert DUI lawyer is essential for your case and your future criminal and driving record. Your legal defense will fight to get your charges dropped or reduced. Call 702-656-0808 for a free case consultation. We know what it takes to get justice for you. The Hayes Law Firm attorneys are trained in Field Sobriety Tests, Blood and Breath Tests and Nevada DUI Laws. Call Today.