The penalties for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) can get very serious. However if you have a reasonable defense, you may be able to reduce or drop the charges.
In a drunk driving case, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant was driving a vehicle and was drunk during that time. You can come up with a defense to prove the prosecutor otherwise or to stop them from using certain evidences during trial. Now there are only a few options for defense against DUI or DWI. Affirmative defenses are very rare. The most common drunk driving defense is by questioning the integrity of an officer’s observation and accuracy.
- Necessity – In this defense, the person must prove that there were no other options during that circumstance and that driving while drunk is the only option to prevent a greater evil. The defendant must prove that there were no other options, and the greater evil is indeed more hazardous than driving drunk.
- Duress – This is when the defendant was forced to drive while drunk to avoid getting injured or even death. One example is when someone points a gun at the driver and forces him to drive despite being under the influence.
- Entrapment – This case occurs when the officer is trying to conduct an entrapment against the defendant by requesting him or her to drive. The defendant in this case must prove that he or she was predisposed to drink and drive by the authorities.
- Mistake for Fact – This occurs when the defendant genuinely didn’t know that he or she was intoxicated, like not knowing that the medication taken last night would still have impairing side effects in the morning.
- Involuntary Intoxication – This defense is when a person ingested alcohol or drugs without his or her knowledge. One example for this is when a person drank a punch in the party and he or she didn’t know that it has a substantial amount of alcohol.
- Improper Stop – One of the most common defenses against drunk driving is by proving that the officer didn’t have any probable case to make the initial stop.
- Questioning the Field Sobriety Test –The arrest may be considered improper if the defendant can prove that the administration of the field sobriety test was improper and its results are inaccurate.
- Questioning the Portable Breathalyzer Test –The defendant can question the integrity of the breathalyzer machine, the officer’s skills in using it, and whether there were other factors that may have affected the results, like vomit.
- Questioning the Blood Test – The defendant can question how well the chain of custody indeed handled the blood test properly.
- Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration – The defendant can also argue that his or her Blood Alcohol Concentration was indeed lower while driving, and only rose up during the testing. The alcohol does not immediately get fully absorbed by the body, which makes this argument valid.
To make sure that you use the right defenses against drunk driving, it is always best to consult and hire an attorney.