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DUI Defenses in Oregon

There are several ways to defend against a DUII charge. One is to challenge the probable cause or reasonable grounds of the arresting officer. An officer may arrest someone for DUII because the person was driving too fast, driving too slow, erratically changing lanes, or running a red light. Those are just a few examples that an officer and prosecutor may rely on to establish probable cause. A defendant can argue other explanations for the behavior that are not attributable to alcohol or intoxicants. A defendant can contend that he or she was driving the vehicle in an appropriate manner.

An officer may also testify to a DUII suspect’s behavior at the time of the arrest. The officer will claim that the suspect’s behavior is consistent with someone who is under the influence of an intoxicant. The officer may rely on behavior such as incoherent speech, bloodshot eyes, or inability to walk in a straight line. Defenses to these observations include any alternative explanations that can be offered for the arrestee’s behavior. Defenses can include lack of sleep, stress, nervousness, or anything else besides alcohol that might have caused the defendant to act the way the defendant did.

A defendant may also challenge the validity of chemical tests that are relied on to determine the defendant was under the influence of intoxicants. A defendant can challenge whether the device was properly used and maintained. In addition, a defendant can also challenge whether the arresting officer was qualified and had a valid permit to conduct the breath analysis. A defendant should never assume that any chemical test done was performed validly. Instead, a defendant can challenge the validity of the tests. Breath testing devices can be faulty and improperly maintained. Defenses to DUII include lack of probable cause by the arresting officer, alternative explanations for unusual behavior, and challenges to the validity of chemical tests that are performed.


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