Defenses to drunk driving can mean the difference between harsh penalties and consequences associated with DUI charges and the normal everyday life of an accused driver prior to a traffic stop. There are multiple ways to challenge drunk driving charges that accused drivers need to be familiar with.
Possible DUI defense strategies can include:
- Affirmative defenses: Affirmative defenses are a specific set of defenses that may apply in certain circumstances. Affirmative defenses include duress, necessity, entrapment, mistake of fact and involuntary intoxication. These can all be legally technical defenses that only apply in certain circumstances so the accused driver should understand if one of them may apply in their situation.
- Challenging a breathalyzer test: There are several ways to challenge a breathalyzer test if the breathalyzer test that was conducted failed to meet certain standards. Breathalyzer tests need to be routinely calibrated and maintained at set intervals to be considered reliable and accurate.Breathalyzer tests also need to be administered properly by a police officer trained to administer the particular test used; the police officer should also be certified to administer the particular breathalyzer test used.
- When administering the test, the police officer should also ensure that none of the accused driver’s bodily functions interfere with the test.
- Challenging a field sobriety test: Field sobriety tests may be challenged if they are not conducted properly. To be considered properly conducted, the field sobriety test should be administered by a police officer trained to administer the particular test who administers it according to the training they have received.
It may also be possible to challenge drunk driving charges in other ways, including by challenging the initial traffic stop that led to the charges if the initial stop was illegal. Drunk driving charges can change an accuse driver’s life forever which is why accused drivers should be familiar with criminal defense protections available to them.