If you have watched an episode of the television series, “Cops,” you have probably seen many examples of how police officers stop and arrest people for drunk driving. It can be easy to conclude from such a limited sample that drunk driving cases are straightforward matters which are easy for prosecutors to reach a conviction. But our practical experience in defending clients against DUI and DWI charges shows that this is often not the case.
An important thing to remember when it comes to drunk driving arrests and prosecutions is that the police officer making the arrest must do everything right, from making the decision to stop the driver on suspicion of DUI to properly performing field sobriety and pre-arrest breathalyzer or blood tests. To do them right the tests in particular must be done with a keen eye to detail: failing to properly instruct the driver on how to do a test, or failing to administer any part of the test, can lead to a successful challenge against its value as evidence in court. Even performing a test too quickly can lead to it being thrown out.
The technology that police use, such as breathalyzers and blood test kits, is also not infallible. Breathalyzers can in some circumstances give unreliable readings, depending on factors like the size of the person being tested, or whether he has any residual alcohol in his mouth at the time of the test, or if he has been exposed to certain chemicals that can trick the breathalyzer into an incorrect ethanol reading. Blood test kits can expire. Evidentiary samples can be compromised in the chain of custody from the police officer to the forensic laboratory.
You cannot be expected to know every possible avenue of defense against a prosecution for drunk driving. That is what we at the law firm of Michael J. Thompson are here for. It is not only the police that need to have a keen eye for detail in a DUI or DWI case; it is also important for your defense attorney to know what to look for when it comes to making certain that every possible avenue of reasonable doubt on your behalf is explored and where appropriate pursued.
To learn more about how we can put our experience and knowledge to work for you in Kentucky or Tennessee, contact us to arrange for an initial consultation.