The entire function of a courtroom is to ensure that justice is served. The innocent are set free and the guilty are judged appropriately. The same ideal necessarily applies to being charged with driving under the influence. While this is a very serious matter from the standpoint of both personal and public safety, sometimes the details get overlooked. While an officer is doing his or her job in the effort to keep the intoxicated from being behind the wheel, this can sometimes create issues especially in the scenario of an erroneous charge.
I failed the field sobriety test, am I guilty?
In the cases where an officer employs a standardized field sobriety test to determine if your intoxicated, failure will lead to a DUI charge. The issue with FSTs is that they are highly subjective. Many officers, even those that have been trained to conduct and administer the test, will falsely interpret the results and charge a driver with a DUI. FSTs are also subject to a number of interferences and distractions such as the noise of passing traffic, uneven terrain, weather conditions, as well as a number of biological factors that can affect a person’s performance throughout the test.
I failed the Breathalyzer test, am I guilty?
There have been a number of cases in which a person has been stopped by an officer under the suspicion of driving under the influence and required to submit to a breathalyzer test. Based on the results of this test, the officer determines that the driver was guilty and subsequently charges them with driving under the influence.
However, while a breathalyzer is a sophisticated piece of technology, it is not infallible. There are a number of factors that can affect the results of a breathalyzer test, showing a higher than actual blood alcohol concentration that results in the driver being wrongly charged with a DUI.
These factors can include a number of medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Due to the acid reflux, the driver has a higher concentration of alcohol in their breath that the breathalyzer falsely interprets as a sign of intoxication. Diabetics also suffer from a similar issue as their bodies produce high levels of ketone which are the metabolized by the body into acetone, which also affects the test results.
Asthmatics or those who suffer from COPD, have constricted airways. Not only does this affect the ability to provide a breath sample, but the sample is at a higher temperature than the machine is set to which can increase the results dramatically resulting in a failed breath test.
The only way you’ll truly get justice in the courtroom for a DUI case is to have an experienced DUI defense attorney represent you. You need an attorney who is familiar with the field sobriety exercises and their administration as well as a keen understanding behind breathalyzer and the science of blood alcohol testing.
Your attorney will be able to determine if the test was conducted properly as well as if there are any outlying conditions that would have prevented you from passing these tests. If you’ve been charged with a DUI then it is beyond important that you hire an attorney to see that justice is served.
+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.