There are several ways that accused drivers can defend themselves against drunk driving charges and potentially protect themselves from the possible penalties and consequences associated with drunk driving charges. Drunk driving defenses fall into different categories and accused drivers should know what criminal defense options may be available.
Affirmative drunk driving defenses
The category of affirmative defenses are defenses that provides a reason why an offense may have been committed. Affirmative defenses include necessity, duress, entrapment, mistake of fact and involuntary intoxication. Affirmative defenses may apply in only specific situations why is why accuse drivers should be familiar with these types of defenses and if they may apply in their situation.
Common drunk driving defenses
Other common defenses to drunk driving focus on the traffic stop itself and if any of the accused driver’s criminal defense rights were violated or if authorities failed to follow required procedures to protect the rights of the accused driver. Examples may include:
- Improper stop – the police officer did not meet the required legal threshold to stop the driver.
- Accuracy of the field sobriety test – the police officer did not properly administer the field sobriety test, calling its accuracy into question.
- Accuracy of breathalyzer test – the police officer did not properly administer the breathalyzer test or it was not properly maintained or calibrated, calling its accuracy into question.
There may also be concerns associated with the chain of custody for evidence being used against the accused driver or other concerns as well. For that reason, accused drivers facing the weight of drunk driving charges should be familiar with their criminal defense options.