Posts Tagged ‘Kansas DUI defense lawyer’

Why the Evidence in Your Kansas DUI Case May Be Less Compelling Than It Seems

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Many people forget that it is not against the law to drink and drive. A person only commits a crime if one’s blood alcohol level (BAC) exceeds .08 (DUI per se) or one’s driving ability is actually impaired so that a driver drives recklessly and violates traffic safety laws like speeding and drifting between lanes or is involved in a motor vehicle accident. Nonetheless, many people faced with a DUI arrest presume that a DUI conviction is inevitable based on law enforcement testimony and field sobriety or Breathalyzer tests results. What most people do not realize is that all of these forms of evidence can be effectively challenged by an experienced Kansas DUI attorney. Most people are shocked to learn that the national average for successful defense in drunk driving jury trials is 50%. We have provided some basic flaws in the common evidence used in Kansas DUI cases.

Police Officer Observations: When a police officer stops you because he suspects you are under the influence of alcohol, he will make initial observations. When you step out of your vehicle, you may seem unsteady on your feet or lean against your vehicle for balance. While an officer may attribute this to being intoxicated, the officer does not know you or your physical traits. You may have mobility issues, weight issues or other physical injuries and limitations. Because the officer does not know you he has no way to evaluate what is “normal” for you.  The fact that you may give off an odor of alcohol is only evidence that you have had something to drink not that you are impaired or over the legal limit.

Field Sobriety Testing: This complex set of unnatural movements and physical requirements are commonly and effectively challenged by an experienced Kansas DUI attorney. Many of those arrested for DUI assume there is some scientific validity to field sobriety tests (FSTs). To the contrary, FSTs result in false positive results (indicating a non-impaired person is impaired) 23% of the time.  Field sobriety tests are routinely challenged because the tests are not reliable, not administered according to strict procedures, scored inaccurately, turn on subjective impressions and fail to account for physical limitations and abilities between different subjects including being overweight or having limited mobility.

Breathalyzer Testing: Most of the time police officers will use a Breathalyzer test to measure a driver’s BAC. Breathalyzer results may be inaccurate for many reasons and can be challenged by an experienced DUI attorney in Kansas. Your DUI attorney may be able to get the Breathalyzer results excluded or otherwise call the validity of the test results into question.  Improper calibration or technical issues with the devices include sensitivity to ambient temperature as well as subject temperature; failure to properly account for variations in the human hematocrit (cell volume of blood) range; and false assumptions of the conversion factor used in converting lung air alcohol concentration to blood alcohol concentration may all form a basis for challenging Breathalyzer results.

This article presumes that you have submitted to both FSTs and Breathalyzer testing.  Hiring a Kansas DUI defense lawyer is able to have some or all of this evidence excluded if the officer lacked sufficient cause for the initial stop or otherwise violated your Constitutional rights. The point is that a DUI arrest does not mean that you will be convicted. An experienced Kansas DUI defense lawyer will know how to challenge what may appear to you to be overwhelming evidence. Remember that experienced DUI defense attorneys are able to prevail in front of a jury 50% of the time in DUI cases.