In our last post, we discussed common strategies that a defense attorney might use to help his clients fight drunk-driving charges. These tend to focus on the accuracy of blood and breath-test results, the legitimacy of the traffic stop and any procedural mistakes that the arresting officer might have made.
There are other defenses to drunk driving as well, but they tend to be less commonly used. In today's post, we'll share some of these with help from the legal information website FindLaw.com.
Two defense strategies involve sincere misjudgments about being impaired/intoxicated or not knowing that you ingested alcohol. In the case of the latter defense strategy, you may argue that you did not knowingly ingest alcohol, and that the drinks served to you (likely at a party) were "spiked." Some have also successfully argued "mistake of fact," meaning, for example, that they honestly believed that the effects of a legal, prescription drug had worn off.
DUI defendants are also sometimes able to demonstrate that they knowingly drove drunk but that their decision to do so was motivated by absolute necessity. Examples could include driving a friend to the hospital in a life-or-death emergency because you are the only one around and you could not get cellphone reception to call 911.
Finally, some defendants may argue that their drunk driving was law enforcement entrapment. Be warned that this defense is very rare and difficult to prove. The defendant must be able to demonstrate that he or she would not have driven if they hadn't been encouraged or asked to do so by a law enforcement officer.
As we mentioned earlier, these DUI defense strategies are less common than most, and may be more difficult to use successfully. The important takeaway message is that if you have been charged with driving under the influence, you often have legitimate options other than simply pleading guilty. An experienced criminal defense attorney can weigh the evidence, inform you of your options and help you make the decision that is right for you.