This blog recently discussed the rights of accused individuals following a DUI arrest. There are different methods of defending against DUI charges and because of their seriousness, accused individuals should always be familiar with what they are.
For an accused individual facing DUI charges, there are generally two ways to defend against drunk driving charges. There are affirmative defenses the accused individual may present or there are other methods of defending against drunk riving charges that include challenging police conduct or the validity of the alleged evidence being used against the accused individual. Affirmative defenses when facing DUI charges include necessity, duress, entrapment, mistake of fact and involuntary intoxication and accused individuals should understand if those circumstances apply to them.
The other option accused individuals have when charged with a DUI is to challenge the traffic stop itself arguing that the authorities lacked the probable cause needed to stop the accused individual. It may also be possible to challenge the administration of a field sobriety test, breathalyzer test or blood test. If the police officer conducting the test was not properly trained, it may be possible to challenge the validity of the test results. Additionally, if a breath test was not properly maintained or calibrated, the test results may be called into question.
The accused individual may also be able to argue that their blood alcohol content level rose between the time they were stopped and when the test was conducted or that a test at the police station would have been more accurate. Other circumstances, such as indigestion or vomiting, can also interfere with the results of a test. Because individuals accused of a DUI face serious potential consequences and penalties, they should understand their criminal defense options and what criminal defense approach is best for their situation and circumstances.