DUI law

DUI Facts

Portable Breath Tests

(Breath tests given at the scene of the stop, not the breath tests typically given at the police station)

Portable Breath Tests (PBT’s) are used by police officers to determine whether any alcohol is present on the breath of a suspect. These tests are wildly inaccurate. In fact, they are so inaccurate that the results are inadmissible in court.

Unlike the chemical tests given at a hospital or at the police station, Portable Breath Tests are voluntary. Refusing to take the PBT will not have an effect on your driving priveleges.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field Sobriety Tests are completely voluntary. If you perform them, you may be arrested anyway. It may be better not to give the cop evidence that will be used against you in court. You can politely refuse to do the Field Sobriety Exercises.

In addition, officers are supposed to inquire as to whether you have any conditions which may make it difficult for you to perform the field sobriety tests. If they do not ask this of you, we can later dispute the results of the field sobriety tests.

Finally, field sobriety tests are to be performed on smooth level ground in a well lit area. If this was not done, we may have grounds to dispute the results.

Mr. Spanovich has done extensive research into field sobriety testing. Together we can review the tests that were given and determine if any defenses exist.

Miranda Warnings

When you are pulled over and questioned for DUI before arrest, you are not in custody for the purposes of Miranda warnings. At this point, you should politely decline to answer any questions which the officer asks of you concerning the DUI investigation. This will limit what can be used against you in court.

Chemical Test Refusals

Please see our page on Chemical Tests

Female DUI Issues

GENDER/TEST BIAS

Studies have shown that women tend to score higher on breath testing machines. This is because these machines are calabrated for an average male's lung capacity. This is inherently unfair to women and should be addressed by your lawyer. The average woman’s body has a higher fat to muscle ratio than does a man. This affects the absorption of alcohol because the average male’s body is 68% water while the average female’s body is only 55% water. Water and alcohol mix and quickly distribute throughout the body; thus a male tends to dilute alcohol more quickly than does a female.

Alcohol also affects women differently than men due to the fact that women metabolize alcohol more slowly. Women have less of the ADH enzyme. This causes a larger proportion of the ingested alcohol to reach the blood system prior to being converted to acetate. Women experience fluctuations in hormone levels during their menstrual cycle that may affect the rate of alcohol metabolism. This makes a woman more susceptible to elevated blood alcohol concentrations at different points in the cycle. They will experience their highest BAC during their premenstrual stage. Since body temperature is also elevated at this time, and during menopause, a women's true blood alcohol level may be overstated. In addition, there is also some evidence that a woman taking birth control pills will produce higher BAC levels.

Thus a woman of the same size and drinking the same amount as a man will often show a higher BAC reading. Men and women’s bodies are not the same but the machine used by the police assumes they are.

Call us now to discuss at (412) 722-7171