Across the country, police officers are cracking down on drunk driving. In 2016 alone, over 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or narcotics. If you have been charged with a DUI in Illinois, you may be unsure of what to do next. The penalties for a drunk driving conviction vary depending on the circumstances of the offense as well as the criminal history of the alleged offender, but everyone who is charged with a DUI is facing a possible drivers license suspension. If you have been charged with a DUI, read on to learn about some of the most common defenses to DUI charges.
Drunk Driving Defenses
A drunk driving conviction can lead to expensive fines, the loss of driving privileges, and jail time. However, a solid defense can help you avoid a conviction. Some of the most common defenses to drunk driving charges include:
- Improper stop: Police officers cannot pull a vehicle over for no reason. Officers must have a good reason, called “probable cause” to believe that the driver of the vehicle is engaged in illegal activity. If an officer lacked probable cause to make the traffic stop which lead to the DUI arrest, it is possible that the charges could be dismissed;
- Poor administration of field sobriety tests: Police often use a series of physical tests called field sobriety tests in order to determine if a driver is intoxicated. If the field sobriety test is improperly administered, it is possible that it will yield inaccurate results. For example, the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test is a field sobriety test which involves eye movements. Because involuntary eye movement is associated with a wide range of neurological and ocular medical conditions, the accuracy of HGN tests is often challenged. In fact, some research has shown that HGN tests are only accurate 77 percent of the time. The walk-and-turn field sobriety test has been shown to be accurate only 68 percent of the time and the test involving standing on one leg is only accurate 65 percent of the time.
- Inaccurate breathalyzer test: Breathalyzer machines and other breath alcohol content tests must be properly maintained and calibrated in order to yield accurate results. A breathalyzer which has not been properly calibrated can result in blood alcohol content (BAC) results which are higher than the person’s actual blood alcohol content. Inaccurate BAC results can also stem from improper administration of the test.
Contact a Will County DUI Attorney
If you need an experienced Joliet Illinois criminal defense lawyer willing to aggressively fight on your behalf, call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. at 815-740-4025. We offer cost-free, confidential initial consultations.