Utah DUI Law: 4 Effective Defenses

Being arrested for DUI has serious implications in Utah. You could lose your driving privileges, which affects your ability to maintain employment. If convicted, your auto insurance rates will go up and, depending on the number of prior DUI convictions on your record, you could be facing a mandatory period of incarceration.

If you are charged with DUI, you have four effective defense options available, any one of which could result in the prosecution dropping or reducing the charges, getting your license back, and even getting an acquittal if your case goes to trial.

Defense No. 1: The officer did not have a legal reason to stop you

If the police officer who stopped you did not have a legal reason to do so, then your DUI defense attorney can make a motion to prevent any evidence obtained during your arrest from being admitted at trial. If, for example, you have reason to believe that you were stopped because of your race or gender, your arrest can be challenged.

Defense No. 2: The field sobriety tests were not done according to federal guidelines

Field sobriety tests can only be relied on if the police officers follow correct procedure. The NTHSA training manual states that the portable breath test should be administered after the walk and turn and one-legged stand. If the police jump to the breath test first, they can jump to conclusions about the other physical test results.

The testing environment can also compromise results. If the flashing lights of passing traffic disorient you, you may stagger or appear to be off-balance. If you are not dressed for the weather and are cold, the test result can also be compromised.

Defense No. 3: The chemical test was done improperly

Blood alcohol test results are not 100% reliable for a number of reasons that include:

  • Improper drawing of your blood
  • Lengthy delay between your arrest and the test administration
  • A break in the chain of evidence custody

Any one of these factors can invalidate your blood alcohol test result.

Your chemical test results can also be challenged if you are taking legitimately prescribed medication that shows drug metabolites in your blood or urine hours later.

Defense No. 4: You have a medical condition that can imitate impairment symptoms

Medical conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, and even chronic neck and back pain can impair your movements and make it next to impossible to pass a field sobriety test.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Utah and need help fighting the charges, please contact the Law Office of Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins today. We will review your legal options and help you mount the strongest possible DUI defense for your circumstances.

Written by Arnold Wadsworth Coggins

Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins Attorneys is a premier Utah law firm serving the Wasatch Front in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, criminal law, and civil litigation. Our attorneys provide clients with exceptional legal representation and personal attention. With over 35 years of trial practice and litigation experience, we bring big firm expertise at affordable rates