Roland X. Tiemann - Experienced, Affordable, Aggressive, Dedicated, Northern California DUI Defense Lawyer

Impairment Defenses

Odor of Alcohol Doesn’t mean a Person is under the influence

Officers always detect an odor of alcohol and put this in their reports to make a person look bad. The reality is that the odor of alcohol doesn’t indicate when alcohol was consumed, what alcohol was consumed, or how much alcohol was consumed. The odor of alcohol doesn’t mean a person is under the influence. Studies have shown that police officers’ perceptions of how strongly a person’s breath smells of alcohol simply doesn’t correlate with his/her actual blood alcohol level. All that can be gleaned from the “odor of alcohol on the breath” is that a person probably consumed some alcohol recently. But it does not provide evidence that the person drank enough to be “under the influence” or to have a BAC .08 or higher.

No Sign Of Mental Impairment

Being “under the influence” consists of two types of impairment: mental and physical. Most police will admit that upon being pulled over, the DUI suspect was coherent, alert and responded appropriately to the officer’s questions. Therefore no sign of “mental impairment” existed. But, as any DUI toxicologists will tell you, “mental impairment” always precedes “physical impairment.” So if mental impairment was not present, then, presumably, neither mental nor physical impairment was present.

Speeding Is Not Correlated With DUI

In many of our DUI cases, the officer pulled the client over for speeding. And the officer alleges the client to be under the influence based (at least in part) on the fact the client was speeding. But national studies demonstrate no correlation between speeding and intoxication. A speeding driver is no more likely to be drunk than sober. To be sure, speeding is often unsafe and a violation of the law in its own right; but it is not evidence the driver is DUI.

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