Defenses for East Bay DUI or DWI arrest

Possible Defenses When Defending an East Bay DUI-DWI Arrest

Unlawful Traffic Stop – When you are stopped by a police officer in the Alameda, Contra Costa, East Bay area, there must have been a justifiable reason to stop you.  A justifiable reason could be that you were driving erratically and weaving in and out of lanes or it can be that your taillight was not working and after being stopped, the police officer notices a distinct smell of alcohol or that your behavior indicates that you are intoxicated.

If it appears that there was not a justifiable reason, you may be entitled to a suppression hearing to determine justification and whether subsequent evidence obtained after the traffic stop should be excluded and whether the charges against you should be dropped.  If the police officer did not have a justifiable reason for the traffic stop, the DUI charge can be dismissed.

Lack of Probable Cause – Here, probable cause refers to the standard by which a police officer has the right to arrest you for DUI or DWI and/or to search your car. The police officer must have a reasonable belief that you were drunk and operating a motor vehicle before arresting you for DUI or DWI.  If the police officer did not have probable cause to arrest you, the DUI or DWI charge can be dismissed.

Failure to Read the Miranda Warning to You – If the arresting officer failed to read the Miranda Warning to you, any statements you made after your arrest can be prevented from being admitted into evidence against you.  If you were held in custody and questioned about anything seeking guilt of the crime, a police officer must have read the Miranda warning to you.

The Miranda warning is a warning given by police to criminal suspects in police custody, or in a custodial situation, before they are asked questions relating to the commission of a crime. A custodial situation is one in which your freedom of movement is restrained although you are not under arrest. Any incriminating statement you made will not be allowed to be used against you unless you were advised of your "Miranda rights" and made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of those rights. Police officers are allowed to ask you biographical information such as your name, date of birth, and address, without arresting you or reading the Miranda warning to you.

Inaccurate Field Sobriety Test Results – Frequently people are not able to perform a field sobriety tests (FST) to a police officer’s expectations and will then be asked to use a Breathalyzer. A person may fail the field sobriety test due to fatigue, poor instructions, or nervousness. Any of these factors can impact your results in a field sobriety test even if you have not been drinking.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) approved only three roadside DUI tests (the one-leg-stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus, and walk-and-turn).  All roadside tests have flaws, yet police officers still use other tests that did not meet the NHTSA standards.  If a non-standardized test was used, your DUI attorney can attack it’s usefulness and seek to have it excluded.

Inaccurate Blood Alcohol Content Readings & False Positives – There are a number of circumstances which can result in a false positive or inaccurate reading with a Breathalyzer.

Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of producing a false positive with a Breathalyzer. Most breathalyzers will falsely report the chemical acetaldehyde as alcohol. Researchers have found acetaldehyde concentrations in the lungs of smokers are far greater than for non-smokers.

Mouthwash can cause a high blood alcohol content (BAC) reading when you have not been drinking, and even some foods or toothpaste can cause false positives.

Diabetics are unable to regulate blood sugar properly. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) causes ketoacidosis, causing production of acetone.  Acetone will be detected by the Breathalyzer as alcohol and produce false, high BAC readings.  If you suffer from diabetes, your DUI attorney will present evidence of your diabetes to Seek dismissal of the DUI or DWI charge.

Testing a person too early while the body is still absorbing the alcohol, which is called the absorption phase is a common source of breath alcohol analysis error.  Absorption of alcohol continues from 45 minutes to two hours after drinking and even longer.  If a breath test is administered during the absorption phase, results will likely be incorrect.

Lack of Observation – In East Bay, California law requires a police officer to observe your behavior for a full 15 minutes before a breath alcohol test can be administered to be certain that you do not do anything such as burping, belching or regurgitating stomach contents which can cause mouth alcohol to be blown in the Breathalyzer.  If the police officer failed to observe you for the entire 15 minutes, your DUI lawyer may be able to have the results excluded.

Heartburn or Acid Reflux Can Cause An Incorrect BAC Reading – The breathalyzer machine is calibrated to measure air that contains alcohol content from the alveoli region of the lungs.  If you are suffering from heartburn, acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), small amounts of alcohol may be regurgitated from your stomach to your mouth, causing a higher, false reading of your Blood Alcohol Content.

Improper Usage and/or Maintenance of the Breathalyzer Machine – The breath testing machine or Breathalyzer must be regularly maintained, tested and repaired, with data logs maintained by the custodian of the machine.  Without proper maintenance, a breath test machine will produce inaccurate results.  Breath testing machines are sometimes maintained improperly which will allow us to seek to have the results excluded and your DUI charge dismissed.

During your initial free consultation, we will ask you the exact details of what road you were on; what that segment of the road looked like; what you were doing when you were stopped and other details which will help us determine if we can request a suppression hearing and attempt to have the DUI or DWI charge against you dismissed.  If we are successful, that means that you are not guilty of DUI or DWI and will not suffer any penalties.

Call our local toll free number today at 1-888-DRUG-CRIMES 1-888-378-4274 to arrange your FREE consultation.

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Questions to ask your East Bay DUI lawyer

After a DUI or DWI arrest in East Bay, you will have many questions we can answer, such as:

We will give you a FREE consultation, without obligation, to answer all of your questions, if you have been arrested for DUI or DWI in East Bay, and any other questions you may have.

Call our local toll free number today at 1-888-DRUG-CRIMES 1-888-378-4274 to arrange your FREE consultation.

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