It might be hard to believe but you can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) even if you are sober. It happens more often than law enforcement will admit, but it does occur to innocent drivers all the time. To learn more, read on.
False Arrests and DUI Charges
When you are wrongfully arrested for something that you did not do, it might be considered false arrest. However, false arrest is a civil matter. That means you can sue the police department for false arrest and be paid monetary compensation. However, if you have been arrested for DUI and you are innocent, proving your innocence is your first order of business and very much a criminal matter.
What is Probable Cause?
Law enforcement is entitled to stop vehicles and carry out certain tests, but they must have reasonable cause for each action carried out. For instance, if they stopped you for an invalid reason, the actions taken by law enforcement after that point could all be illegal. When they fail to follow the rules, the case may be ruled invalid, and the arrest ruled improper. That means your charges will be dropped. Before that occurs, though, you must prove that the arrest was improper and that starts with speaking to a criminal defense attorney.
Evidence of Impairment
Not only can your stop, testing, and arrest be invalid, but there is more to the situation. Even if the officer can explain away reasonable cause, other issues could lead to the false assumption of being under the influence. For example, officers will approach a driver pulled over on suspicions of DUI with their senses sharp for signs of impairment. Only if they observe those signs do they have reasonable cause to ask you to step out and perform some roadside sobriety tests. They will sniff the air in your vehicle and your breath to discern the odor of alcohol. Officers will also listen for any slurring of your speech and observe if your eyes are bloodshot, or you appear disheveled. However, none of those things are necessarily proof of any impairment. There are many reasons for the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and a bad appearance.
BAC and Breathalyzers
In most cases, confirmation using a breathalyzer is a must before anyone can be arrested. However, blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) are influenced by a person's metabolism and the presence of ketones in the expelled breath. Several medical conditions and medications can cause false-positive readings on a breathalyzer test.
It's important to speak to a DUI defense lawyer about your arrest and get them to work proving your innocence. Speak to a lawyer in personal injury law to find out more.