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DUI Defenses in Kentucky

There are several ways to defend a DUI charge; however, anyone considering fighting a DUI should hire an attorney. When one is stopped for suspected DUI it is typically because the officer observed certain behaviors by the driver. These behaviors include driving at varying rates of speed, weaving in and out of lanes, running lights or stop signs, hesitating through green lights and crossing the center lane of the highway. A defense attorney will defend against the stop by giving other reasons for these driving behaviors such as distractions inside the vehicle.

Once the officer observes these driving behaviors he/she will stop the driver and potentially conduct a field sobriety test. There are some behaviors the officer may observe which will prompt them to conduct such a test. These behaviors include slurred speech, stumbling or being unable to stand, bloodshot eyes, incoherent speech, and enlarged pupils. A defense attorney will argue that these observations may be explained by any number of things. Any one of these behaviors can be explained by medications that the driver may be on at the time. Bloodshot eyes or pupil enlargement may be due to allergies, food recently eaten, contacts lenses, or perhaps emotions, such as crying prior to being stopped or even because of the stop. Incoherent and slurred speech may be explained away by nervousness or stress in his/her personal life. While someone may not want personal information dragged through the court, a good attorney will bring up any reason to explain away these behaviors.

When the officer observes any of the above behaviors he/she may request a field sobriety test from the driver. The driver does not have to consent to a field sobriety test; however, if he/she decides to consent the officer will make further observations. The standard field sobriety tests commonly conducted in Kentucky are walk and turn, one leg stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and a portable breath analysis test. These tests may be defended on the grounds that the one performing the test has little balance, was nervous, or had taken prescription medication prior to the police stop.

The final way to defend a DUI conviction is a BAC defense. One may defend against the BAC reading by attempting to prove that the officer administering the breath analysis was not trained or certified to use the machine. Also, one’s attorney may also require the police department to prove that the breath analysis device was maintained, calibrated, and serviced as required. The breath analysis may be thrown out if the officer was not certified to use the device or if the Department did not have the device properly maintained and calibrated, as such things may cause false readings.

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