A Loveland, Fort Collins, or Estes Park police officer must have a legal reason for pulling you over for any traffic crime, including Driving Under the Influence. According to law, this is called “reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.” Additionally, if they want to arrest you, they must have probable cause. In DUI traffic stops, probable cause is based on your driving (swerving, missing stop signs, erratic behavior) and observations of your behavior after you’ve been pulled over. Because of this, we advise people to limit interaction with the police officer: Only roll down your window a few inches, be polite, have your insurance and registration ready to hand through the crack of the window, and don’t get out of your car. Finally, never agree to perform voluntary roadside maneuvers or tests, and never give a Portable Breath Test (PBT) sample beside the road.
Roadside maneuvers include tests such as the walk and turn, one leg stand, saying the ABC’s backwards, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. Each of these tests is used by the officer to determine a person’s level of intoxication. The problem with field sobriety tests is that each one can be failed for reasons other than drinking too much alcohol. We believe it is inappropriate when an officer’s decision to arrest someone is based on ambiguous test results. Never take these voluntary tests.
The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08. Most people assume if you are over the limit, you are drunk. This is not true. There are many people who are able to perform roadside maneuvers at the .08 level and not stagger or have slurred speech. Alcohol affects each person differently. Some people have a high tolerance for alcohol and thus will be able to complete field sobriety tests at levels higher than .08. Because of this, it is never a good idea to plead guilty to DUI or DWAI. Your case isn’t over if your BAC level was .08 or higher. An experienced DUI / DWAI lawyer will be able to evaluate every angle of your case. A good lawyer understands the .08 BAC is a “permissible inference” and can be refuted in court.
Many people believe if a BAC / Express Consent test result shows that their blood alcohol content level is over the legal limit, there is nothing they can do to avoid conviction. An experienced DUI attorney knows that even with an illegal BAC limit, a DUI or DWAI conviction can be beat. For example, we look at the following aspects of your situation:
The Intoxilyzer breath test machine is flawed. There are assumptions which are programmed into it.
Everyone’s body partitions alcohol from their blood differently – ratios for partitioning vary from 834:1 to 1:3400. Body weight, sex, and other things affect the partitioning ratio. The Intoxilyzer breath testing machine doesn’t test each person’s individual blood to breath partition ratio. Instead, it simply assumes a value of 2100:1. This creates a flawed result, because we don’t know an individual’s partition rate at the time the breath test was taken. The Intoxilyzer 9000 is flawed and creates inaccurate results.
There are some things (like the Express Consent BAC test) which you are required to do once you have been arrested for a DUI / DWAI. However, there are a few things which will only help you get convicted. Here are a few things not to do:
Having a DUI or alcohol conviction on your record is a bad reflection on your character. You could have a difficult time finding a job, or could lose your license. Don’t let a bad decision or the misjudgment of an over-eager police officer ruin your future. If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Ability Impaired in Larimer County, don’t hesitate to contact a DUI attorney who will fight to protect your future.