Why a DUI case may not be as open-and-shut as people think

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Many DUI cases are anything but straightforward. Several factors such as testing procedures contribute to their complexity.

These factors challenge the notion of cases usually being open-and-shut for the prosecution in California.

Variables on sobriety

One key aspect is the variability in individual sobriety. While blood alcohol concentration tests provide numerical data, factors such as metabolism, body weight and tolerance levels can significantly affect an individual’s impairment level. What may seem like a clear-cut case based solely on BAC levels might not accurately reflect the defendant’s level of impairment at the time of the incident.

Testing procedures

Moreover, the reliability of BAC testing procedures can be questionable. Breath test machines, for instance, require proper calibration and operation by law enforcement personnel. Failure to adhere to these protocols can compromise the accuracy of test results.

Additionally, external factors such as environmental conditions or medical conditions of the defendant may influence test outcomes. These can cast doubt on the prosecution’s evidence.

Probable cause

Establishing probable cause for a DUI stop is another area of contention. Law enforcement officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull over a vehicle. Any deviation from legal procedures can lead to questions regarding the validity of the stop. Without proper justification, evidence obtained during the stop may be inadmissible in court, weakening the prosecution’s case.

Defense strategies

Furthermore, defendants can challenge the prosecution’s evidence, present alternative explanations for observed behavior and question the reliability of witness testimony. Skilled strategies can create uncertainty in what initially appeared to be a straightforward case.

These complexities make clear the importance of thorough examination and due process in DUI cases.