Every Thanksgiving weekend, police increase their efforts to patrol Minnesota roads, looking for drunk drivers. However, if you are facing charges for driving while intoxicated over Thanksgiving, there are a number of reasons why you may have been incorrectly charged.
Below we’re going to detail a number of different things specific to the holiday season that could play a role in your defense strategy and help to invalidate the charges against you.
These reasons may have resulted in your arrest. A qualified attorney can build a solid case for you using one or more of these logical explanations.
Minnesota at the end of November isn’t exactly the friendliest of places. High winds, low visibility, and slick roads can all cause you to drive in a way that isn’t normal.
Did the big Thanksgiving meal make you sleepy? Turkey is known to produce tryptophan, a natural chemical that causes sleepiness. Perhaps that had a negative effect upon your driving ability. Or maybe you didn’t sleep very well away from home, and the fatigue caught up with you on your drive.
Was your slice of pumpkin pie spiked with whiskey? Did you eat a rum-filled truffle? Did you enjoy a crème de menthe ice cream dessert? These alcohol-infused foods may produce positive results on a breath or blood alcohol test.
That’s right, burps. If your large Thanksgiving meal caused you to burp while a test was being administered, a false positive may have resulted from the gases in the burp. These gases don’t require alcohol to register, either – they can form from completely innocent foods like yeast rolls.
Maybe after the Thanksgiving feasting, you rinsed with a mouthwash that contained alcohol. When you were pulled over, the mouthwash produced a high BAC reading on the breath test.
Who has a perfect family? Not you, and that’s why you felt like you needed to have a smoke after a whole weekend with people who get under your skin. Unfortunately, a cigarette’s chemicals can produce a higher breath test result than alcohol alone, which may make the test register above the legal limit.
Perhaps you chipped a tooth while chomping on Aunt Mabel’s pecan pie or other hard foods at Thanksgiving, and the dentist worked you in for an emergency crown. Well, since the work had to be done so quickly, it trapped a bit of alcohol in your tooth – and those few drops of alcohol elevated your breath test result.
The cough medicine you took before driving home read as alcohol on your breathalyzer test. Your cough drops contain menthol, which produced a false reading.
If you have diabetes, you may have acetone on your breath that can show up on a breathalyzer test. Also, if you have hypoglycemia, behavior symptoms can mimic the ones alcohol causes, such as clumsy movements and dizziness. Or maybe your pounding headache and sinus pressure contributed to erratic driving, not alcohol.
Exposure to Chemicals
If you used the weekend to catch up on a project that used certain glues, paints, lacquers, spray paints, and cleaning fluids, the fumes can produce a false positive on a breath test.
Since this is one of the busiest weekends for traffic accidents, police were patrolling more heavily than usual and caught you by mistake in their zealous search for drunk drivers.
Perhaps one of the following situations occurred. They stopped you without probable cause. They failed to read your Miranda rights. They didn’t follow protocol on the field tests. They didn’t wait long enough to make valid observations. They made inconsistent statements against you.
If an officer makes a mistake, their testimony against you can be thrown out of court.
Inaccurate Field Tests
Maybe you failed the one-leg stand test because you have a medical condition that throws off your balance. Or you recently injured your ankle and can’t put weight on it. Problems with your vision, neck, back, arms, or legs can also produce inaccurate test results.
Breath Test Failure
Breath tests are known to be inaccurate, especially if they are improperly administered or if the machine is incorrectly calibrated.
A breath test should be repeated for accuracy. Also, the breath test must be given by an officer with a valid and current license. Otherwise, the test can be thrown out.
Blood Test Failure
A blood test must be administered by a qualified professional. Additionally, the blood sample must be carefully preserved in transit. If either of these things does not happen, the results may be inaccurate.
Absorption Rate Not Considered
If you consumed alcohol right before you began driving, the alcohol may not have had time to absorb and impair your driving ability, but it will still register on the test.
As you can see, there are all kinds of ways to fight back against a Minnesota DUI charge. Which arguments apply to your case depend upon the specific circumstances surrounding your arrest. A knowledgeable criminal lawyer will be able to examine the details of your case and craft a strong defense based on the evidence.
Reach out today to start fighting for your future with the help of an experienced Minnesota defense attorney.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).