How to Challenge DUI Evidence in Tennessee Courtrooms

If you are charged with driving under the influence, you need to contact an experienced Nashville DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Under their guidance, you can prepare for the upcoming trial and make a good impression in court. Also, the attorney has the time to review the case against you carefully, looking for ways to challenge DUI evidence in the courtroom.

Here are some of the most effective ways in which a lawyer can challenge the prosecutor’s case and get your charges dismissed or reduced.

1. Lack of Probable Cause for Getting Pulled Over

One of the first things the attorney will examine is why the police officer decided to pull you over. Unless you encountered a scheduled DUI checkpoint, the officer must demonstrate that they had probable cause to pull you over.

This may be any of the following situations:

  • You were weaving in and out of traffic lanes
  • You were driving too fast or too slow
  • You showed other signs of impairment

Your attorney will look for evidence, from traffic camera footage to eyewitnesses, to demonstrate that nothing in your conduct behind the wheel gave the officer probable cause to pull you over.

2. Challenging the Breathalyzer Test Results

One of the most effective ways of challenging DUI evidence is casting doubt on:

  • The calibration of the Breathalyzer device
  • The officer’s experience in administering the test
  • Whether the breath test device was malfunctioning

DUI attorneys know that these devices are not infallible and that many police officers are not thoroughly trained to administer them.

3. Challenging the Field Sobriety Test Results

When you consult with a Nashville DUI lawyer, they will want to know if the police officer asked you to perform field sobriety tests and if you complied. Ideally, you should refuse to perform such a test.

Unlike the implied consent to take a breath test, there is no legal obligation to perform field sobriety tests. Also, they are notoriously unreliable. Even the federal agencies that design them state that they have a significant false positive rate.

breathalyzer tests are not 100% accurate

Many people who did not drink or took controlled substances would fail these tests, due to:

  • Inner ear conditions that affect the sense of balance
  • Being overweight
  • Wearing uncomfortable shoes

If your DUI arrest was based solely on failed field sobriety tests, your attorney may be able to get your charges dismissed.

4. Violation of Your Rights

When the police officer arrests you, they must read your Miranda rights. This is mandatory to make the arrest procedure legal. However, some officers forget that they must do it.

This simple oversight may render your arrest and any evidence obtained afterwards illegal and inadmissible in court. This could put a major dent in the prosecutor’s case against you.

5. Wrong Interpretation of the Open Container Law

In some cases, you may be charged with a DUI under the open container law. Even if your Breathalyzer test result is zero, a police officer can charge you and arrest you if they find an open bottle or can of alcoholic beverage readily accessible to the driver.

However, unlike other states, which prohibit the presence of an open container anywhere inside the car, Tennessee law has specific limitations:

  • The open container law does not apply to passengers in the vehicle
  • It excludes open containers found in glove compartments or the trunk of the car
  • The law only applies if the engine of the car is running.

For example, if you are sitting in your parked car, with the engine turned off, and an officer can see an open container, they have no grounds to charge you with violation of the open container law.

Let an Experienced Nashville DUI Lawyer Defend You!

Do not face DU charges alone. This is a serious offense and will lead to a courtroom case where you can be sentenced to severe fines and prison time.

An experienced Nashville DUI lawyer at Byron Pugh Legal may be able to get your charges dismissed by challenging DUI evidence against you.

So start building your defense as soon as possible – call us to schedule a free case evaluation at 615-255-9595!