After a few drinks, you got in your car, only to be pulled over by Massachusetts law enforcement on your way home. The breath or blood test indicates that your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. It seems like an open-and-shut case.
According to FindLaw, you may still have defense options that result in lesser charges, or even dismissal of your charges.
Did the officer have a legal reason to pull you over?
If you were speeding, weaving between lanes or driving with a tail light out, he or she had probable cause. However, without such a valid reason, you could have an improper stop defense.
Was your breath/blood test accurate?
There is more to the breath test than blowing into the device. For example, the officer has to wait 20 minutes if you just threw up. Breath test devices have to be calibrated regularly and maintained correctly. The officer has to have the training to administer the test.
If, on the other hand, you took a blood test, there are similar issues to explore. Maybe the person who handled the process made a mistake, or the test was contaminated because the packaging was improperly sealed. Or maybe your sample was mishandled or tampered with.
Did your BAC rise after you were taken into custody?
It could even be that, at the time that you were driving, your BAC was below the limit, but in the time it took to get you to the station and take the sample, your body absorbed more of the alcohol you recently drank. As a result, your BAC was only above the legal limit at a time when, had you been allowed to go on your way, you would already have been home.
Every situation is unique, and these are just three of many circumstances that could affect a DUI charge. Therefore, this information should not be taken as legal advice.