Contesting a DUI Arrest in Oklahoma
Although many drivers think that being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Oklahoma will automatically lead to a conviction, you need only look at the number of DUI cases that are dismissed each year to see that’s not the case. In fact, a large number of drivers who are charged with DUI are able to challenge their arrest and avoid criminal prosecution by proving that their arrest was unconstitutional.
Establishing Probable Cause: What the Law Requires
You may remember that the 4th Amendment of the Constitution protects U.S. citizens from unreasonable search and seizure by requiring law enforcement officials to have probable cause before they can detain you. In terms of your arrest, this means that the officer must prove that he or she had a valid reason to pull you over—such as running a red light or committing a similar traffic offense, for example.
Field Sobriety and Chemical Testing
After establishing probable cause for making the stop, the officer who arrested you must then prove that he or she had a reason to suspect you were impaired—like noticing that your eyes were bloodshot or smelling alcohol on your breath. Assuming the officer’s suspicions are warranted, he or she can then conduct a field sobriety and/or chemical test to determine your level of impairment. On the other hand, if the officer is unable to justify his or her actions, no such tests should have been administered—and if they were, the results cannot be used as evidence against you in court.
Of course, there are many other ways to challenge a DUI arrest that do not involve probable cause. If the officer did not administer your field sobriety and/or chemical test correctly, for example, the results may be inadmissible in court. You may even be able to challenge the accuracy of your breathalyzer results by proving that the testing device was not maintained properly.