Valid Circumstances in Which You Can Fight a DUI Charge
DUI (driving under the influence) is a serious offence under Australian law. While each territory has slightly different penalties for DUI offenders, they all agree that your licence will be suspended and you will have to pay fines.
However, there are cases where your DUI charge may not be valid under the law. Being charged with a DUI offence has to be done according to established laws and regulations. If these laws are violated, you can mount a successful defence against the DUI charge.
Here are 4 valid circumstances in which you can successfully invalidate a DUI charge.
1. If the officer didn't have probable cause
Probable cause is a term many people hear but don't quite understand. Probable cause in a DUI charge refers to the officer having a valid reason to suspect that you're driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. An officer cannot randomly assume that you're driving in an impaired state if they don't have a valid reason (even if you actually are impaired).
In most cases, impaired driving is detected when your vehicle is stopped because of a traffic offence. This could be failing to stop at a traffic light, speeding or not following road signs. If an officer stops your vehicle for these reasons and, in the process, finds that you're driving in an impaired state, the charge would be valid.
However, if the officer simply stopped your vehicle for no reason and found that you were driving impaired, you can argue (with the help of a lawyer) that the DUI check was conducted inappropriately.
2. If the DUI check was done illegally
If the officer who charged you with a DUI abused your rights before, during or after the charge, you can also mount a successful defence against the DUI charge. All DUI stops and charges must be done with respect to your civil rights under the law.
3. False positives on alcohol tests
When charged with a DUI, most states require that you undergo a breath or alcohol test. The tests will be used as evidence against you in court, depending on the results obtained. There are cases where the test was done incorrectly, or your blood alcohol level wasn't as high as the results show.
There are also cases where your health or diet options can give higher blood alcohol readings than is actually present. This is often a valid reason to invalidate a DUI charge.
4. If you weren't planning to drive
There are also cases where an officer assumes you were planning to drive but you actually weren't. For example, if you were intoxicated but seated in the passenger seat (or back seat) waiting for your friend to drive, you shouldn't be charged with a DUI offence.
Contact a lawyer for more information or assistance.