Challenging a DUI Charge

Posted on: 23 February 2017

A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction could have serious consequences. If you are found in charge of a vehicle while having a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.05 grams of alcohol per 100ml, you will be charged with DUI. The penalties for a DUI conviction differ from state to state. In New South Wales, depending on the level of intoxication and previous offenses, the punishment can range from a $1,100 fine and a suspension of your driving licence to 18 months imprisonment. DUI convictions can affect your work and family life, preventing you from getting to work or visiting family and friends. 

With so much at stake, it is important that you understand how you can defend yourself against a DUI charge. Below are 3 ways you can challenge a DUI charge in a court of law.

Challenge Police Procedures

A police officer must follow a strict set of procedures during a DUI traffic stop. A skilled criminal lawyer will be able to examine every aspect of the stop to check that the proper procedures were followed. For example, the police officer must demonstrate that they had good cause to pull you over. If your lawyer can prove that the officer did not have good cause to pull you over, all of the evidence collected, including your DUI breath test will be inadmissible in court.

Challenge the Evidence

Your DUI conviction will rely on two pieces of evidence: 

  • A roadside sobriety test, in which the police officer will ask you to perform a range of task such as walking in a straight line
  • A blood alcohol test, which will be taken using a breathalyser or via a blood sample. 

Both of these pieces of evidence can be challenged. A criminal lawyer may be able to argue that you were not given the correct instructions during the roadside sobriety test or that your clothing prevented you from being able to properly carry out the requested actions.

It is vital that the breath and blood alcohol test are conducted using the right equipment and that evidence is correctly stored. If this is not the case, you can request that the charges against you are dismissed.

Challenge the Charge

If you are taking prescription medication or have a medical condition that can make it appear that you are impaired when you are in fact fit to drive, you should appeal the charges in court and present medical evidence to back up your case. If the judge rules that there was a medical reason for the apparent impairment, your case will be dismissed.

If you would like further advice about how to challenge a DUI charge, you should contact a criminal lawyer today.


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