It takes an experienced attorney to look at your case and know what angles to attack the case the State brings against you. Looking here is the first step to determining who you want to hire as an attorney and we know that. Look below at the steps we go through for beating a DUI (alcohol).
The police must possess a reason to stop you.
This is the first thing we look at for beating a DUI. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 3 Section 23 of the Mississippi Constitution protect you from unreasonable searches and seizures. When determining whether or not probable cause exists, Mississippi Courts repeatedly held, “”the issue is whether or not the officer reasonably, and objectively believed that a traffic violation had occurred.” Sellers v. State, 323 So. 3d 1111, 1116 (Miss. App. 2021)(citing Adams v. City of Booneville, 910 So. 2d 720, 724 (Miss. Ct. App. 2005)).
The way we combat that is thorough examination of videos and reports of the incident. At trial, we may ask pointed questions to the officer/deputy/trooper about what led to the stop. Once they cannot show a reasonable belief that you committed a crime – you win.
Don’t talk to the officer.
This is the part of the stop where the office comes up and asks a bunch of questions. Those questions are not so innocent. In addition to the questions he or she may ask, the police officer is looking for:
- the odor of alcohol;
- slurred speech;
- red/bloodshot eyes;
- nervousness; and
- anything else they can articulate as impairment.
Affirmatively assert your right to remain silent to beat a DUI.
You need to affirmatively assert your Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent! Do not just sit there quietly or tell the officer you don’t answer questions. Tell the officer you assert your Fifth Amendment right and you will put a serious damper on his/her driving under the influence investigation.
Officer, I am affirmatively asserting my Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent.– Big Man Law
The arresting officer may tell you that if you’re innocent you would talk. Do not fall into that trap. Assert your right to remain silent. More clients talk themselves into a DUI than out of one.
Even if you did say something, we find ways to work through or around any admission.
Even if someone admits to one drink, that is not enough for impairment in most people. One drink should not impair one’s ability to operate an automobile. The charge is not “drinking and driving,” but “driving under the influence.” The State carries the burden of proof to show you were driving while impaired.
Heck No, Don’t Blow!
It does not matter if it the portable breath test (PBT) the officer brings up to your car or the Intoxilyzer 8000 at the station, do not blow into the device! The State can only use the PBT in court to show whether or not alcohol is present. The Intoxilyzer 8000 is the one that matters. Failure to blow can result in a 90 day license suspension, but we can handle that through a Petition to Review Breath Test Refusal. Do not blow and give the State more evidence.
Even if you did blow, we can still work to get the results excluded. First we look to the calibration of the machine. Next, we determine whether the officer had the proper certification. Finally, we verify the observation period and documentation were all properly done. If the State cannot meet any of those conditions, we object to the admissibility of the test under the rules of evidence. Remember, if you blew a .08% or greater in the Intoxylizer 8000, you must beat the machine to beat the DUI.
Don’t do field sobriety testing.
Police officers perform a series of three (3) tests called standardized field sobriety tests on individuals. These tests are not meant for you to pass and were developed through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the late 1970s.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test
This is the test where the officer holds a pen or finger in front of your eye and goes back and forwards. The officer is looking for a total of 6 clues during this test. Here is a good, but boring, video of the HGN test.
If the officer only performed this test on you, then you may hold the golden ticket.
The State cannot use the results of the HGN test merely as an indicator to show that the defendant was “under the influence of intoxicating liquor” to prove the requisite elements of Miss.Code Ann. § 63-11-30(1). . .Young v. City of Brookhaven, 694 So. 2d 1355, 1361 (Miss. 1997).
Walk and Turn Test (WAT)
This is the test most people associate with a DUI. The officer places you in an awkward position, you walk nine (9) heel to toe steps down, do an unusual turn, then take nine (9) heel to toe steps back. Everyone messes up the turn and nobody can balance properly. It’s a very unnatural test.
Key things we look for in this test is whether the individual’s heel to toe steps are no more than a half inch apart and whether the person actually steps off the line. If the officer told you to imagine a line, he/she should not ding your for stepping off the line since they don’t know how wide the line you imagined is.
One Leg Stand Test (OLS)
This is the last one in the battery of field sobriety tests. The officer is looking for three (3) clues. You stand on one leg counting out loud until the officer tells you to stop. This is the simplest and most straight forward test. Despite that, take a look in the below video how the officer bends his left leg during the demonstration. It’s a trick to help with balance.
The information we provided just scratches the surface…
A lot happens in a DUI case. Beating a DUI requires a lot of diligent research. We look at the facts of every case and apply the law to the facts. Our clients hire us to obtain results. We leave no stone unturned in an effort to get those results for our clients. Check us out on Youtube and TikTok for more information. Feel free to give us a call at 601-357-7777 or follow this link to set up a consultation.