Driving Under the Influence, (DUI), has several defenses. Each defense depends on the chemical test you took at the time of your arrest. There are three (3) valid tests you could have taken. The law in California allows for a Blood test, Breath test, and in some special circumstances a Urine test.
In every case, the first thing your lawyer should be looking at is your Fourth (4th) Amendment right having been violated. This means that the police officer must have had a legal right to stop you and make contact with you.
FSTs means Field Sobriety Tests. These are the coordination tests that the police officers give you in the street, and that you should never take. You should tell the police officer that you want a test that is not subjective. These tests are all based on the officer’s opinion, and the officer in most cases has already decided that you are impaired. The officer was trained properly on each test, but over time, the officer will not train himself or herself and begins to do the tests incorrectly while thinking he or she is doing them correctly. That means you fail the FSTs.
Donald Drewry’s Experience with FSTs
Mr. Drewry use to administer these tests to motorist when he was with the Hayward Police Department as a Reserve, Solo, Officer; Badge 731. Additionally, Mr. Drewry is a Qualified Instructor of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) a branch of the Federal Government where he graduated number one (1) in his class as the Solo Instructor. During Motions to Suppress evidence at court, Mr. Drewry will always find that ninety-nine percent (99%) of the officers do these tests wrong.
Your defense in the blood case comes down to having a competent lawyer familiar with the toxicology and testing of blood. The lawyer will have to get the digital raw data of the original test, and all chromatograms, along with all information on the blood draw, storage, and the test itself. Most blood tests are done in laboratories that do not follow the rules and procedures that they should be following. This causes irregularities in the blood testing, which the lab will not acknowledge, but cause higher results due to contamination. This is something that Mr. Drewry challenges in court on a regular basis with a lot of success.
Your defense in a breath test usually comes down to the fact that there is a thirty (30%) percent to three hundred (300%) percent error in the breath testing when in you are in the absorptive phase. The closer to the time you stopped drinking and then you drove the better for you. For example, if you stopped drinking just ten (10) minutes before you drove and were stopped shortly after driving, this is better for you because the alcohol is still rising in your body; this called the absorptive phase. However, most people think it is better to say they were drinking many hours before they were stopped, and this is not true; it is just the opposite. In addition to the absorptive issue, your lawyer must get the accuracy and calibration logs of all the breath machines you used. This is especially true for the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) machines that the police use for a breath test in the street. Mr. Drewry is a State PAS coordinator and has put on classes for lawyers in this area. You should never take a breath test in the street. In fact, never take any breath test, just take a blood test, in my opinion.
Urine testing is so bad that the California Legislature took it away from being a chemical test unless there is a medical reason you cannot complete a breath or blood test. One exception to this rule is if you took a breath test at the police station for your chemical test, the officer is required to tell you that you now have the right to take a blood or urine test for you to show the breath is not accurate.