Affirmative defenses and common defenses for DUIs

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Whether it is a motorists first time being pulled over by the police or has met this fate several times before, it is important that one understands the process associated with a traffic stop. This is especially true for those suspected of drunk driving. Oftentimes, a DUI carries with it serious consequences, making it important for motorists to consider the DUI defense options available to them.

Common defenses for a DUI

Defense options for a motorist are highly dependent on the situation; however, there are a few common defenses available to those accused of a DUI. This includes asserting an improper stop, questioning the accuracy of the field sobriety test, questioning the accuracy of any Breathalyzer test given, questioning the chain of custody of the blood test and asserting that one’s blood alcohol content increased over time, meaning it was less when he or she was pulled over versus when they were tested.

Affirmative defense options

In some cases, one may admit that he or she was intoxicated but had reason or an excuse for it. These are called affirmative defenses and could be one of the following five defense options. The first is necessity, which implies that one needed to drive while intoxicated to avoid a greater harm.

The next is duress, meaning that one drove to avoid serious injury or death. Next, one could assert entrapment. This means that an officer encouraged a motorist to become intoxicated or have them drive while under the influence. A fourth affirmative defense is mistake of fact. This is when a person honestly believed that he or she was not intoxicated. The final affirmative defense in involuntary intoxication. This is when an individually ingested alcohol without their knowledge.

No matter the situation or circumstances, one has the right to a defense against a DUI. Even if this is not the first DUI one has been charged with, there are defense options. Thus, one needs to consider what steps to take and what defense strategies are available to them. Taking action could help a motorist reduce or even dismiss the charges against them.