The consequences of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be severe. Not only can these charges have an impact on your personal and professional life, but they can also cost you your driving privileges. If you or a loved one are facing a DUI, you need to mount a strong defense. Here are some tried and true defenses for a DUI charge:
- Absolute necessity. Under this defense, a driver claims that they had to drive in order to prevent a greater evil. The driver has to be able to prove that they had no other choice than to drive and that the risk posed by the "greater evil" surpassed the potential harm of driving while impaired.
- Entrapment. This defense claims that the arresting officer did or said something that encouraged the driver to become intoxicated. The driver must be able to prove that they would not have been drinking and driving without the alleged entrapment.
- Duress. With a duress defense, the driver claims that they were driving to avoid serious physical harm or death. To prove this, the driver will need to support the claim that someone forced them to drive under threat of physical harm.
- A mistake of fact. This defense is used when the driver honestly believed that they were not intoxicated. For example, if a driver mistakenly believes that the effects of their prescription medication have worn off, this may warrant a mistake of fact defense.
- Improper stop. A very common argument in drunk driving cases, the defense attorney may claim that the officer did not have probable cause to stop the driver in the first place.
- Involuntary intoxication. This defense is used when a person has accidentally consumed alcohol without their knowledge. For example, if a driver drinks from a punch bowl that has been "spiked" with alcohol, they may have a strong case for an involuntary intoxication defense.
- Poorly administered sobriety test. If a driver is charged with DUI after an improperly administered field sobriety test, they may use this defense. The horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test is commonly contested under this defense. This test attempts to detect eye movements that have been associated with intoxication.
- Improperly administered portable breathalyzer test. Attorneys frequently challenge the accuracy of breathalyzer tests administered at the scene of an accident. Common arguments include poorly calibrated machines and improper training of the arresting officer.
Know Your Options
If you have been charged with a DUI, you need an experienced Alemeda DUI lawyer like Louis Goodman to help you mount a strong defense. Not only can he help you navigate the murky waters of the legal system, but he can also help you get the best possible outcome for your case.