Possible Defenses for a DUI Charge

When someone is arrested for a drunk driving offense, they might think that they have no chance of getting out of it. But there are several defenses that a lawyer can help someone mount in court. Some of them involve arguing that the driver had cause to be behind the wheel while under the influence. But more common defenses are to do with attacking the officer’s observations of the scene or the integrity of the evidence. Although DUI and DWI laws differ across different states, there are some defenses that can be used in many of them. Hiring a lawyer will help you to understand the specific ins and outs of the law in your state.

drunk-driving-offenseJames Palinsad

Affirmative Defenses

Sometimes it’s possible for the defendant to use an affirmative defense. They admit that their blood alcohol content was over the legal limit, but that they had cause or reason to drive a vehicle. For example, one such defense is that of necessity, when a person argues that they needed to drive drunk to prevent a greater evil. They must prove that this greater evil was more dangerous or could have caused more harm than driving under the influence and that they had no other choice. Another affirmative defense is duress, when the driver was avoiding serious injury or death if. For example, someone was forcing them to drive by threat.

Defendants and their lawyers could also argue that they had an honest belief that they weren’t intoxicated. This defense could be used in a situation such as the driver believing that the effect of a medication had worn off. They could also use involuntary intoxication. This is where they have ingested alcohol without their knowledge, such as someone drinking a spiked drink. It’s also possible to argue entrapment, that an officer asked them to drive drunk, and they would otherwise not have done so.

More Common Defenses

When a defendant discusses possible defenses with their DUI attorney, it’s more likely that they will attempt to discredit the evidence given. These defenses can be several things, involving the officer’s role in the case or other evidence presented. For example, an improper stop is one defense. It argues that the officer didn’t have proper cause to make the initial stop for the offense. People also challenge the administration in several ways, which involves casting aspersions on the accuracy of the drink driving tests.

The defendant’s lawyer could challenge the administration or results of the field sobriety test, the breathalyzer test or the blood test. Another defense is that of rising blood alcohol content. It argues that the defendant’s BAC was under the legal limit while driving, but rose between the traffic stop and the test(s). It’s possible to use this one if alcohol had recently been consumed but had yet to be fully absorbed into the body.

There are other less common defenses for DUI charges, such as the accused person not having been the driver. If you’re faced with a charge for driving under the influence, the way to find your best defense is to hire a qualified and experienced lawyer.