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DUI (DWI) Defenses in Missouri

Observational Driving Evidence Defenses:

Generally, law enforcement will pull over a driver based solely on observational evidence on the person’s driving behavior (driving to slow or too fast, stopping all of a sudden in the middle of the road) or on based on other observation in regards to the person’s vehicle (lights were off.)  Many defenses can be brought up as explanations for these types of “evidence.”  Examples of defenses could include; defendant was sleepy or fell asleep at the wheel, defendant was ill, defendant was lost and unsure of where they were driving, bad weather mad driving difficult, defendant’s headlight just went out and didn’t have time to repair them, etc.  There are numerous defenses to observational driving that can provide an excuse for a person’s driving behavior that have nothing to do with being intoxicated.

Observational Behavior Evidence Defenses:

Once pulled over, a police officer will then look and observe if they witness any characteristic behavior factors of a person they suspect may be under the influence of alcohol.  These traits include but are not limited to; blood shot eyes, alcohol scent on a person’s breath or being, slurred speech, inability to concentrate, random laughing out of context, enlarged pupils.  Many defenses can also be used for the observational behavior factors, such as: person was overly tired, suffering from allergies or cold, extreme nervousness and anxiety after being pulled over by cops, eye problems, other sickness, etc.

In providing defenses to both the observational driving and behavior evidence, one can try to argue that the law enforcement officer did not have reasonable grounds make an arrest for a DWI.

Field Sobriety Test Defenses:

Although one has the right to refuse to perform a field sobriety test, if one has already performed a test and had a poor result, there are several arguments one could make in front of a jury as a defense to the field sobriety test.  Such possible defenses include: the person has a physical disability which make it difficult for them to perform the tests, the person is not coordinated, the defendant could not perform well due to sickness or age, the officer conducting the test was either not correctly trained in administering the tests, the officer reached an incorrect result based on inexperience, prejudice, etc., the tests themselves are poor indications of whether or not a person is impaired.

BAC Defenses:

The defenses to breath, blood, saliva, or urine tests tend to deal with how the tests were carried out.  Possible defenses are: The sample was not requested by a valid law enforcement officer,  the person who administered the chemical test was not authorized medical personal or did not have the valid state permit, the chemical test procedure were not followed accordingly as proscribed by law code, the chemical test specimen was inaccurately analyzed.


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