Kentucky police officers cannot pull you over without a legitimate reason. As a motorist, you are entitled to know what the reason is. It is not uncommon for a police officer to make a traffic stop for one reason, then determine that there is probable cause to arrest someone because of evidence that has surfaced during the stop. This is often the case when a traffic stop leads to a DUI arrest.
If you are facing DUI charges in Kentucky, you must be given an opportunity to present a defense. Without a legal background in criminal defense law, however, you might be unsure of your options, as well as which defense strategies might help you achieve the most positive outcome. There are several important issues to keep in mind.
Reasonable cause for a traffic stop does not constitute cause for a DUI arrest
If a Kentucky police officer witnesses a traffic infraction, such as you, making a turn without using your turn signal, he or she may initiate a traffic stop. If the officer claims that your vehicle was veering over a yellow line or that you clipped a curb while navigating a turn, you might be suspected of drunk driving. In that case, the officer might tell you to exit your vehicle.
Everything described in this section, so far, however, does not constitute probable cause to arrest you for DUI. To make a lawful arrest, the police officer in question must discover evidence that suggests that it is highly probable that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Such evidence might include poor performance on a field sobriety test or taking a breath test that registers positive for alcohol.
How much time elapsed between the traffic stop and a Breathalyzer?
Another possible defense strategy to refute DUI charges has to do with a chemical Breathalyzer test. If a police officer waits too long to administer such a test following your arrest, you might be able to challenge the evidence on the grounds of a rising alcohol defense. It is known that a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) increases over a period of time.
The key issue in a DUI case is what your BAC was while you were driving or shortly thereafter. If a Breathalyzer test was delayed, your BAC might register much higher than it was when you were behind the wheel.
A medical condition might cause you to fail a breath test
If you have diabetes or hypoglycemia, ketones in your body might cause a breath test device to register positive for alcohol. This is due to acetone in your blood transferring to your lungs. If you consent to a roadside breath test and register positive, a police officer can arrest you for DUI, even if you have not consumed any alcohol at all.
Building a strong defense is critically important when facing DUI charges
Even if it is your first offense, the repercussions you might experience after facing DUI charges in Kentucky can be far-reaching and highly stressful. The more you know about criminal defense options, the greater chance you might have of achieving a favorable outcome in court. The good news is that you do not have to go it alone. You may reach out for additional defense support at any time.