Uncovering Hidden Issues in the Legality of DUI Arrests

Categories: DUI Defense

It’s understandable to feel anxious when you see flashing red and blue lights and hear sirens wailing, especially if you’re being pulled over for a suspected DUI in Grand Junction, Colorado. In this situation, you may be unsure if your arrest was lawful and what consequences you could face. However, it’s important to remember that you have legal rights and options available to defend yourself. 

Driving under the influence (DUI) procedures must follow specific legal guidelines in Colorado. It’s crucial to determine whether the police had a valid reason to stop you, whether they followed the correct procedures during the arrest, and if the officer made any mistakes. Understanding your rights and the legal system is crucial in uncovering hidden legal issues in DUI arrests.

Understanding DUI Arrests in Colorado

Like most states, Colorado has a zero-tolerance policy against driving under the influence. This means that any amount of detectable alcohol or drugs in your system above the legal limit can result in an arrest. In Colorado, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%.

However, it is not just your BAC level that determines the legality of your arrest. It also hinges on the officer’s adherence to proper procedures.

The arrest process for a DUI typically involves roadside sobriety tests, a breathalyzer test, and possibly a blood test. It is important to note that officers must follow specific protocols during each step to ensure the legality and accuracy of the evidence collected.

Challenges in DUI Arrest Legality

Although DUI laws in Colorado are complex, there are legal options to challenge the validity of the stop and evidence collection, which could help build a strong defense.

Improper Stops

The foundation of a case is the officer’s initial stop. If the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion of a crime, such as weaving or erratic driving, and only acted on a hunch, the entire arrest may be considered unlawful. It’s important to examine the officer’s justification for the stop and consider any alternative explanations.

Flawed Field Sobriety Tests

Police often rely on Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) like the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand to determine if a driver is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While FSTs can be helpful indicators, their accuracy isn’t guaranteed. Several factors can affect the results, including medications you take, test administration errors, medical conditions, and nervousness or anxiety.

Breathalyzer Issues

Breathalyzer machines are not always accurate due to various factors such as improper calibration, environmental influences, and certain medications you may be taking. Understanding the specific model used and any potential maintenance issues can benefit your defense.

A DUI arrest does not always lead to a conviction. By actively investigating the details of your case and understanding potential vulnerabilities, you can navigate the legal complexities and build a strong defense.

Issues in DUI Arrest Procedures

Being aware of possible problems that may arise during the arrest procedure for DUI charges can help you defend yourself and safeguard your rights. Some common issues that occur during DUI arrests include:

Miranda Mishaps

The Miranda warnings protect your right to remain silent and have an attorney present during questioning. Before any questioning, the officer must explicitly inform you of these rights. If they skip this crucial step, any statements you make may be thrown out of court. Remember, exercising your Miranda rights is not a sign of guilt; it’s your safeguard against self-incrimination.

Blood Test Blunders

While often considered more reliable than breathalyzers, blood tests rely on meticulous sample collection and handling protocols. Any deviations from these procedures can raise red flags about the test’s accuracy. 

Evidence Issues

The prosecution is responsible for proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means they need compelling evidence to convince the court. If the officer’s observations are shaky, witness testimonies are inconsistent, or chemical test results are questionable, you may have strong grounds to challenge the case against you.

Consulting an experienced DUI attorney can help you assess your options and build a solid legal defense. 

What Are the Penalties for A DUI?

Being found guilty of drunk driving can have severe consequences and can significantly impact your life. You may be sentenced to imprisonment, lose your driving license, and face higher auto insurance rates. Finding employment can also be difficult due to your criminal and driving record.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a DUI in Grand Junction, CO

Facing a DUI charge is a serious matter. Understanding the potential legal issues is the first step to building a strong defense against a DUI charge in Grand Junction. These tips can help:

  • Remain silent. Protect your legal rights by politely yet firmly invoking your right to remain silent and request an attorney. 
  • Consult with an attorney. An experienced Colorado DUI attorney can help you understand your situation, identify potential challenges, and develop a strategic approach to address them in court.
  • Ask questions. You should not hesitate to clarify any aspect of your DUI arrest with your attorney. Knowledge is power, and understanding your rights is crucial.
  • Gather evidence. If you observed any irregularities during your arrest, document them or seek witness accounts.

Uncovering these hidden legal issues is essential to build a solid defense. Consulting with a DUI attorney familiar with Colorado DUI laws’ intricacies is crucial. 

Facing a DUI in Colorado? Don’t Drive Alone Through the Legal Maze.

Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., is your experienced Colorado DUI lawyer, ready to fight for you. With over 30 years of legal experience, I’ve tackled countless criminal defense cases. My deep expertise in DUI charges means I know the ins and outs of the DMV hearing process, giving you a crucial edge. You deserve more than just a lawyer. You deserve compassion, honest advice, and a fighter in your corner. That’s what you get at the law offices of Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C. Contact us today. We’ll aggressively pursue the best possible outcome while always treating you respectfully and understanding

Mark Rubinstein

Attorney Mark S. Rubinstein has been practicing law for more than 30 years, including 25 years in Colorado. He founded Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., in Carbondale after working for law firms in Denver and earlier in his career in San Diego. He focuses his practice in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury representation, and he is well known throughout western Colorado as an effective and unwavering advocate for his clients.