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Not Every Driver Charged With DUI in South Dakota Is Really “Intoxicated”

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

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Think everyone charged with a DUI must have obviously been drunk? You might be surprised to learn that, in many cases, drivers are arrested and charged for driving drunk when they aren’t actually under the influence or above the legal limit. But how can this possibly happen—and happen so often?

How Drivers Can Be Mistakenly Charged With a South Dakota DUI

There are many factors that can influence the accuracy of sobriety testing or a police officer’s determination of intoxication, including:

  • Problems with sobriety and blood-alcohol testing. Breathalyzer testing, field sobriety tests, and other “scientific” means of determining intoxication can be notoriously inaccurate, and some law enforcement officers have not been trained to conduct this testing properly.
  • The influence of underlying medical conditions and illnesses. Some medical conditions that affect your speech, movement, and reactions can look like drunkenness to an officer, and some illnesses and medications can also affect test results.
  • What you’ve eaten, the non-alcoholic beverages you’ve had, or if you smoke. Even non-alcoholic beverages or foods can smell like alcohol on your breath, and smoking tobacco can throw off breath testing devices.

While it’s not easy to convince the court that you weren’t under the influence in the face of inaccurate evidence and police observations, it is still possible to build a strong defense in your favor and work to have those unfair charges dismissed—if you work with a skilled attorney. For more information about protecting your rights and finding solutions, contact our Sioux Falls criminal defense team today.

Category: Criminal Defense


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