The Law Office of Matthew E. Bennett

A Maryland Law Firm Based in Silver Spring And Serving Surrounding Communities

3 common defenses to a DUI charge

If you get arrested for drinking and driving, you could face serious consequences. These penalties can affect you financially in addition to impacting your ability to obtain future employment.

For example, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation, first-time DUI offenders could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Although you may assume you will face the maximum penalty if a conviction happens, there are certain defenses you can use during your case to lessen the impact of a conviction.

1. Inappropriate stop by law enforcement

A law enforcement official cannot arbitrarily pull you over for a traffic stop. Before pulling you over for drinking and driving, a law enforcement official must notice something wrong with your driving behavior.

2. Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions can mimic some of the signs of driver intoxication. For example, neurological problems and fatigue can result in slurred speech. Allergies can cause watery eyes, crying and sinus issues.

3. Improper field sobriety test

Law enforcement officials must follow specific protocols when administering a field sobriety test. If the law enforcement official conducting your test does not adhere to these procedures, this evidence may not hold up as valid in a court of law.

It is also important to cooperate with the court system after you get arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. File all necessary paperwork according to predetermined deadlines and show up to any scheduled hearings on time to prevent any additional issues with your case.