Because DUI charges can upend an accused driver’s life, and can potentially impact immigration status, it is important for accused drivers to know how to defend themselves against drunk driving charges. There are different criminal defense approaches available to help deal with DUI charges that accused drivers should understand.
The best criminal defense approach is based on the situation and circumstances so accused drivers should know what those options are so they can determine the best criminal defense strategy for them. Accused drivers should be aware of the different ways they can potentially challenge drunk driving charges.
Drunk driving defense options include:
- Challenging the stop – if the initial traffic stop that resulted in drunk driving charges was not legal, it may be possible to challenge any of the criminal charges that followed.
- Challenging a breathalyzer test – breathalyzer tests must be routinely calibrated and maintained to produce accurate and reliable results. The police officer administering the test must also be trained in the use of that specific breathalyzer test and must follow that training when administering the test for the test results to be considered valid.
- Challenging a field sobriety test – field sobriety tests must also be conducted according to training the police officer receives and all officers conducting field sobriety tests during traffic stops must receive appropriate training in how to conduct field sobriety tests.
- Affirmative defenses – this is a category of defenses that apply in specific and limited circumstances. It is valuable for accused drivers to be familiar with what these defense options are and if they apply to their situation and circumstances. Affirmative defenses can include entrapment, necessity, duress, mistake of fact or involuntary intoxication.
- Challenging witness or police statements – it may be possible to challenge DUI charges by challenging witness or police statements the accused driver believes are erroneous. The facts as alleged by authorities, or evidence alleged against the accused driver, may be challenged as well.
Knowing what to do and how to respond when faced with DUI charges is important. Accused drivers have important criminal defense rights and protections they need to understand how to assert when facing something as serious as drunk driving charges.