DUI charges in Illinois can have very serious repercussions for those who are found guilty of having driven under the influence. As they should for intoxicated driving can result in grave injuries and even prove deadly in many instances.
The laws in Illinois surrounding DUIs are rather strict; guilty drivers are not given a lookback period, and the punishments get heavier with each consequent charge. However, this does not mean that you can’t beat a DUI charge at all.
If you have been caught drunk driving, there are ways through which you can turn the situation around in your favor, and expel the charge altogether, or at the very least, get the sentence reduced. Several factors can result in your case being rendered void, and with the help of an attorney who truly understands DUI laws in Illinois, it is not impossible to beat the DUI charge or lessen its severity.
Of course, excellent legal counsel is imperative if you want to beat a DUI charge in Illinois. If you find yourself in such a situation, the first thing you must do is contact a good DUI lawyer and communicate the details of your case. Your lawyer can then work out the specifics and devise a complete plan of action on how best to represent you and beat the charge.
Top Reasons How You Can Beat a DUI Charge
It is obviously a complex task challenging a DUI charge, but an experienced DUI lawyer who is well-aware of the laws regarding DUIs can get you out of the fix and possibly get the charge reversed. Here are some of the defenses your lawyer might utilize in order to fight back against the DUI charge.
No Probable Cause for Stop
The police cannot simply stop anybody without reason; they need a reason to believe that there might be something amiss to ask a driver to pull over. If you were not mentally impaired from the drinking and were driving just fine, giving no indication to the police that there is anything criminal or illegal there, they are in the wrong. Even if you are indeed found to be drunk, pulling over a driver without probable cause is considered wrong, and if played right, can at least grant you a reduced sentence.
No Proof of Driving
Just as the police, or the prosecution, have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were drunk driving, they also have to present concrete evidence to support the claim that you were indeed in charge of the vehicle. If the police arrive at the scene later due to an accident caused by an impaired driver and find the vehicle parked or someone else in the driving seat, they will need to confirm and prove that you were driving while drunk. This is a defense that can sometimes be used to question the facts within a DUI case and cause doubt about the prosecutor’s evidence if they are not able to prove that it was certainly you behind the wheel.
Faulty Breathalyzer and Equipment
Breath tests are the most commonly administered tests to measure alcohol content on the road, but these tests are not very reliable. In fact, they are, more often than not, not accepted as conclusive evidence in court and require further testing, which can confirm the results. The breath tests are not considered reliable by virtue of the fact that they measure the alcohol content on your breath, and not in your blood. The breath alcohol content can possibly be higher than your BAC for a number of reasons, and thus is not a good measure of alcohol impairment while driving.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field Sobriety Tests, or FSTs, are incredibly vague tests performed by police officers on the field to determine whether a person is drunk or not. Though they are hardly ever accepted as evidence in court and are notorious for being inaccurate, they continue being utilized by police officers. Field sobriety tests include a series of small tests such as walking in a straight line. These tests are open for interpretation by the police officers and are believed to have an accuracy rate of only 60-70%, that too if they are administered and scored correctly, which never really happens. Moreover, there are other factors that can affect a person’s performance in FSTs, such as poor lighting, officer intimidation, bad weather, and a number of other things. Thus, a field sobriety test is not an accurate indicator of alcohol-induced impairment.
Radio Frequency Interruptions
The breathalyzer is, at the end of the day, a machine, and all machines are susceptible to errors and faults. Radio Frequency Interruptions, or RFIs, are electromagnetic interferences that can cause the breathalyzer to give a very high BAC content reading that is not reflective of the alcohol content present in the driver’s blood. It doesn’t help that police vehicles are surrounded by sources of Radio frequency interruptions, such as the police station dispatchers, AM and FM radios, handheld transmitters, and police radar units. In such an environment, it is not impossible for a breathalyzer to give an inaccurate reading, and thus calls into question the authenticity of the evidence.
Article 17 violation
The Title 17 violations include the terms that the technician who conducted the test was not sufficiently trained and certified, and that the device used to measure the BAC wasn’t properly calibrated to give an accurate reading. There are certain guidelines pertaining to how to store and handle the blood samples and tests, and if there is any doubt that it was not conducted the way it should have been, the accuracy of the test is compromised.
The Error Rate in BAC
Of course, like everything else, blood alcohol content is also prone to mistakes. No tests are absolutely perfect. There are some factors that can contaminate the results or cause an unusually high reading. An error range of 0.005 to 0.02 is common in BAC tests, and thus, if a driver’s BAC is only slightly above the accepted limit of 0.08, it can be argued that the test was erroneous and exhibiting a higher BAC than normal.
There is a difference between the amount of alcohol in your mouth or breath and the amount absorbed in your bloodstream. A spike in mouth alcohol is not uncommon even if the BAC is within the normal range. A higher mouth alcohol reading can be caused by regurgitation, burping, alcohol-soaked food trapped in your dental works, or diseases such as acid reflux or GERD.
Certain medical conditions can cause a fluctuation in your blood alcohol levels, such as GERD, acid reflux, or heartburn. Because the acids from the stomach travel up to the mouth in such conditions, the breath test results can become contaminated and open to inaccuracy.
Hire a DUI Lawyer
There are other factors besides these that can prove helpful to you during your trial, such as police misconduct, rising blood alcohol, or the fact that a BAC of over 0.08 does not necessarily mean that you are impaired. With a good lawyer by your side, it is possible to revert the charge or reduce your sentence significantly and save you from serious consequences that could alter your life.
Always take a lawyer into confidence when faced with such a circumstance. Contact our DUI lawyers in Illinois, who have the knowledge and experience of battling these charges and beat your own DUI charge in court.