Failure To Properly Evaluate A Case
Too many people make the mistake of hiring a lawyer based on the recommendation of a friend or prior association of a particular attorney through another legal matter. Unfortunately, Utah DUI law is among the most technically and procedurally complex areas of criminal law, such that even competent criminal attorneys can find themselves lacking when it comes to acquiring a broad enough substantive base to effectively represent clients. While it’s not rocket science, sometimes it can seem pretty close due to the technical complexities of the breath alcohol measuring instruments and the science (or sometimes lack thereof) behind them.
A DUI is the only criminal charge in our nation that is wholly dependent on two areas of psuedo-science: (1) so-called standardized field sobriety tests or SFST’s (which are subjectively scored by the arresting officer) and; (2) a breath test performed by a machine designed in the 1960’s that is capable of errors greater than 150%! A Utah DUI defense lawyer will at a minimum have a complete understanding of the relevant law and recent changes, be certified (preferably at the instructor level) in the NHTSA standardized field sobriety tests, and be able to fully explain how both the CMI Intoxilyzer 5000 and 8000 function, the differences between them, and each one of their many shortcomings.
Because of these inherent shortcomings, while it may be arguable whether or not certain people cited for DUI are actually innocent, it is our experience (albeit with a majority of cases with a BrAC of .125 and lower) that these people can NOT be shown to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – the proper legal standard. Simply put, the machine itself is so inherently error-prone that the majority of people stopped without a poor driving pattern (we call these bogus stops) and subsequent borderline field tests.