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When Can DUI Charges Be Dropped?

Posted by Brett Willis | Mar 14, 2024 | 0 Comments

Driving under the influence (DUI) charges can significantly impact one's life, leading to serious consequences. However, there are many situations where such charges can be dismissed. This blog post explores ten avenues for potentially getting DUI charges dropped

Officer Error: A Gateway to Dismissal

Misreading the Implied Consent Notice

One common error that can lead to the dismissal of DUI charges is when an officer incorrectly reads the implied consent notice. This notice is crucial as it informs the suspect of their rights regarding chemical testing. Any deviation from the standard language, such as misstating the blood alcohol content levels or misreading the terms of consent, can invalidate either the refusal to give blood or breath or the test results themselves. 

The Role of Breathalyzer Discrepancies

Another pivotal factor is the reliability of breathalyzer tests. In Georgia, for instance, a disparity greater than 0.02 between two breathalyzer samples can render the results inadmissible. This provision ensures that only accurate and reliable evidence is used in court. Furthermore, the validity of breathalyzer results can be challenged based on the calibration of the device. If the dry gas calibration number falls outside the acceptable range, the results may be deemed unreliable. 

Lacking Evidence: When There's No Test

In situations where no chemical test (blood, breath, or urine) is conducted, the charge might be a "less safe" DUI. This type of charge relies on subjective assessments rather than concrete evidence. The absence of test results provides a substantial opportunity for defense, potentially leading to reduced charges or even dismissal, emphasizing the critical role of hiring an experienced DUI lawyer.

Administrative and Technical Deficiencies

Lost or Contaminated Blood Samples

The integrity of blood samples is paramount in DUI cases. If a blood sample is lost or contaminated, it significantly jeopardizes the prosecution's ability to present concrete evidence, often resulting in the charges being dropped. 

Certification Issues

The validity of a breathalyzer test can also be questioned based on the certification of the operator or the device itself. If either the operator is not properly certified or the machine has not been approved by the Department of Forensic Sciences, the test results may be invalidated.

Illegal Stops (Fourth Amendment Violations)

An illegal stop by police, where the officer does not have a valid reason for pulling over a vehicle, can lead to the suppression of evidence obtained during the stop.

Statute of Limitations

If the government fails to officially charge someone within the statute of limitations (two years in Georgia), the case can be dismissed.

Unforeseen Circumstances: Officer Resignation

Though less common, the resignation of the arresting officer before trial can and does happen. Depending on the circumstances this can lead to difficulties in substantiating the charges, potentially resulting in dismissal. 

The Ultimate Defense: Trial and Acquittal

Facing a DUI charge head-on by going to trial represents the final defense strategy. A jury's acquittal not only leads to the dismissal of charges but also vindicates you totally under law.


While DUI charges carry severe implications, understanding the potential avenues for dismissal is essential. From officer errors to procedural oversights, various factors can influence the outcome of a DUI case. It's important for individuals facing such charges to be well-informed and seek competent legal representation to navigate the complexities of the legal system effectively. This exploration of DUI defenses underscores the importance of precision, legality, and rights within the judicial process. If you're seeking guidance or representation, contact Brett Willis Law today, where our experts are ready to help you navigate through these challenges.

About the Author

Brett Willis

When the government has charged you with a crime, Brett Willis is the man to see. Brett has been winning the most difficult and serious cases since 2005.


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