There is considerable misinformation about DUI cases, even among attorneys not particularly experienced in the field.

 

Fighting your DUI. In the past few hundred cases, not one of mine has had to go to trial. Trials are very expensive, and to challenge a breath test result invariably requires an expert witness at great cost. Moreover, the breath test is almost bullet proof, regardless of what you read on the internet from attorneys who love going to trial with your money. The effective way to challenge a DUI is on procedural technicalities, and I include those challenges in my base fee, not my trial fee.

 

Expungement. Alaska does not have expungement. At all. There is a provision for a ‘suspended imposition of sentence (SIS,)’ but it does not apply to DUI cases.

 

Breath test challenges. If the breath test is verified to be calibrated, and if it does not abort due to mouth alcohol … the result is going to stand. I have had people ask about ketoacidosis, chewing tobacco, having only one lung … and a variety of things they believe might affect the breath test. As an almost universal rule, if the Datamaster gives a result, then the result will stand. Is it possible to challenge it? You can hire an expert at great expense, have a trial at great expense … and there is perhaps a case out there in which an effective challenge might be mounted. However, the cost to do so simply is too great for a first or even a second offense. If you have been charged with a felony, or perhaps under other circumstances where the cost doesn’t matter, then perhaps there could — in very unusual circumstances — be a challenge to the breath test. But in general, it’s a myth. An expensive one.