This is the final installment in our three-part series of blogs providing examples that illustrate some of the ways that a DUI case can be effectively defended in Kansas. While there are literally dozens or defenses that may be used to prevent a DUI conviction, these examples should make clear that the mere fact that you have been arrested for DUI does not mean that you cannot successfully fight to protect your freedom, driving privileges and reputation. We invite you to read the first two parts of this blog before reading Part III. If you have specific questions about the most appropriate defense strategies in your specific DUI case, we urge you to contact Kansas DUI attorney Stacey Schlimmer to set up an initial consultation.
Field Sobriety Tests Are Poor Indicators of DUI
Field sobriety tests (FSTs) taken individually have a high false positive rate for indicating alcohol impairment in drivers who are not legally impaired. When an officer testifies that a DUI suspect did not perform well during field sobriety testing, experienced DUI lawyer Stacey Schlimmer persuasively highlights the factors that can result in poor performance including:
Many officers also do not have proper training in conducting these tests of “coordination and balance” so Ms. Schlimmer exposes any failure of the officer to explain, demonstrate and evaluate the tests according to the strict procedures.
No Twenty Minute Observation Period
Because alcohol that remains in the mouth after being ingested will have a much higher BAC level than metabolized alcohol in the breath from the deep lung tissue, police officers are required to carefully observe DUI suspects for twenty minutes prior to administering a breath test. This observation period is designed to ensure that the person suspected of DUI does not consume or drink anything that could distort the breath test. The officer also is supposed to pay attention because a DUI suspect may vomit, regurgitate or belch, which could cause alcohol that has not been metabolized to be expelled from the stomach back up into the mouth. If the officer fails to observe the DUI suspect for this period, BAC test results may be compromised by the presence or breath alcohol.
Contamination or Improper Handling of Blood Test Samples
There are many errors that can occur in the collection, transportation and storage of blood samples that can make chemical testing of a DUI suspect’s BAC unreliable. The cotton swab used to sterilize the injection area may leave residual alcohol on the skin, which can contaminate the blood sample. The blood sample may also be exposed to extreme temperatures during transport and storage, or the sample may not be mixed with the chemicals properly.
Lack of Calibration and Maintenance of Breathalyzer
Kansas police departments use the Intoxilyzer 8000 to conduct breath tests. These devices must be regularly calibrated and maintained to ensure that they are functioning properly. When these procedures are not performed as required, Ms. Schlimmer may be able to have the breath test results excluded from your case.
Overland Park DUI defense attorney Stacey Schlimmer aggressively defends those arrested for driving under the influence in Johnson County or the surrounding areas of Kansas. Our Kansas criminal defense law firm offers a confidential free consultation so call us today at 913.341.0484 or contact us online.