Driving under the Influence Defenses and Strategies

If you have been accused or arrested for a DUI, contact me today I can help you, Law office of Geoffrey M Yaryan (760) 779-9666 or gmyaryan@gmail.com

One of the most often asked questions I hear when talking to potential clients who have been arrested for driving under the influence is: “I am probably guilty, how can you do anything?”

The fact that you have been arrested for a DUI, or that you feel you have no defense, does not necessarily mean that the prosecution can prove that you are guilty of a DUI, or there are no defenses that will help you. To name a few;

  1. I have successfully used defenses that question the accuracy of the chemical tests utilized to determine a person's blood alcohol level.
  2. I have also convinced juries that the so called "field sobriety tests" used by police agencies to investigate people suspected of driving under the influence (walking a line, standing on one leg, etc.), are unreliable indicators of alcohol impaired driving.
  3. In some cases I have been able to show juries that there is insufficient evidence that my client was the actual driver of the car.

While most driving under the influence cases usually don't go to a jury trial, there are other strategies I have successfully used to help my clients arrested for DUI's.

  • I have filed motions testing the "probable cause," or right of the police to stop, detain, or arrest my clients. The usual result of a court granting a motion such as this, called a motion to "suppress evidence," is the dismissal of all the charges associated with the illegal stop, and the DUI.
  • Persuading the D.A. to reduce the charge to a lesser one than driving under the influence, or motions to "strike," or remove prior convictions for DUI's, are other tactics that I have used successfully.
  • I have saved clients' driver's licenses by going with them to DMV hearings. Usually, I can go to court for you saving you the embarrassment and inconvenience of court appearances.

As you probably know the result of a chemical test (blood or breath) is considered strong evidence of a person's blood alcohol level in a DUI case. But all chemical tests have a major flaw.

Since alcohol is absorbed slowly by a person's body (it can take as long as 2 hours to reach peak concentration), a person's blood level may have been below the legal limit when they were driving -- THAT'S WHEN IT COUNTS! -- but above the limit only later when a chemical test is given (up to an hour or more after they are stopped and arrested).

This happens when someone had their last drink shortly before they were stopped, and it had only been partially absorbed.

For example, their blood alcohol level may be only .06% or .07% (below the legal limit) when stopped by the police, but may have risen to .08% or more because of delayed absorption. Since it was below .08% at the time they were driving they are not guilty of having .08% or higher blood alcohol, even though their test result may suggest otherwise.

One fact that often surprises many people arrested for driving under the influence is the fact that the arresting officer may not have actually seen them driving but based on facts like evidence that their car had been recently driven, the person’s close proximately to the car, and the fact that no one else was around, can in some situation provide circumstantial evidence of driving.

These facts though, can often be challenged.


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