Drink driving is a serious offense in Australia. If found guilty as charged, a motorist may end up paying hefty fines, having their driving licensed suspended or revoked or even face jail time. With the help of a drink driving lawyer, the defendant can mount a defense against a drink driving charge. Generally, state DUI laws vary and each DUI case has contrasting facts, therefore it makes sense to consult with a drink driving attorney. Here are three common defenses that your attorney can put up against your drink driving charge.
No reasonable justification for a traffic stop
You don't need to be stopped by a traffic officer specifically based on suspicion of drink driving in order for you to be apprehended for a drink driving charge. The officer needs to have a form of logical suspicion that you were violating any traffic law including a shattered tail light or speeding. In that case, the traffic stop itself is deemed lawful. However, when a police officer lacks any justified reason for pulling you over, any evidence gathered following the unlawful stop can be dismissed in court once your attorney raises it up. Given that a drink driving conviction rests largely on evidence gathered, your DUI case is likely to be thrown out if the traffic stop was illegal.
Unlawful conduct at sobriety checkpoints
If you were arrested for a drink driving charge after being taken through a sobriety test at a checkpoint, your attorney can challenge the arrest if the police officer who administered the test failed to adhere to the strict rules of the checkpoint. There are various types of field sobriety tests in Australia. Remember, each of these tests ought to be administered based on specific guidelines. Some police officers fail to take into account medical conditions, fatigue or climatic conditions when administering the tests, as expected of them. Failure to adhere to these guidelines presents an opportunity for your drunk driving lawyer to argue that the outcomes of the sobriety tests aren't reliable.
No probable cause for DUI arrest
Once the traffic officer pulls you over irrespective of the reason, he or she must have probable cause that you have committed an offense in order for your arrest to be legal. In the case of drink driving, the officer should believe that you were driving while intoxicated based on the gathered evidence at the checkpoint. However, if the officer lacks any probable cause based on the evidence collected, then the DUI arrest is unlawful. Any lawyer knows an illegal arrest dents the prosecution case significantly.