Should a Failed Sobriety Test = Guilty Plea?

November 3, 2014by admin

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Hopefully everyone had a fun and safe Halloween, but unfortunately the holidays tend to experience a significant increase in DUI charges. Police are out in full force, and when the police lights go on behind them, most drivers feel immediately intimidated. Even if they have done nothing wrong, they often have a desire to explain themselves, justify their driving, describe where they’ve been and what they’ve been doing and so on. It’s probably just human nature: we want to bring unpleasant encounters with police officers to rapid, favorable conclusions.

Sometimes, however, those encounters lead to a DUI arrest. In many situations, drivers have been asked to take a sobriety test, failed it, and are later inclined to plead guilty to a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. Naturally, this inclination is motivated by a desire to bring the unpleasant situation to a quick conclusion. But is it the right decision?

Many people ask their friends and family: “Should I plead guilty if I fail a sobriety test?” While a number of folks might think a guilty plea is the way to go, the reality is that there are many things about DUI arrests than an untrained eye might miss. An experienced attorney knows that there are several potential serious flaws in sobriety tests that can be exposed in defense of a client. Sobriety tests are not bullet-proof, and there are bona-fide defenses that can potentially undermine a sobriety test result.

In some circumstances, the breath-testing equipment gives false positives because of faulty calibration or overdue maintenance. A DUI attorney knows how to procure calibration and maintenance records and what to look for in the documents.

The stakes are always high when you’re facing a DUI charge, which is why so many people rely on legal counsel to get them through a daunting court system. A failed sobriety test should not, in and of itself, compel you to plead guilty without first consulting legal counsel and discussing your options.