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Possible legal defenses for drunk driving

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Blog, Criminal Law

Drunk driving charges can have serious consequences. In addition to fines and jail time, motorists may lose their driving privileges. They may also suffer significant personal and professional setbacks.

Fortunately, legal defenses exist that can mitigate drunk driving charges. Understanding these defenses is important for anyone navigating the legal system after a DUI.

Lack of probable cause

To pull over a driver, law enforcement must have a valid reason or probable cause. Without reasonable suspicion or proper cause, any evidence obtained thereafter may be inadmissible in court.

Faulty field sobriety tests

Field sobriety tests assess a driver’s level of impairment. However, these tests can be prone to errors. Factors such as nervousness, physical disabilities or even environmental conditions can affect accuracy. As a result, challenging the reliability of field sobriety tests can be a viable defense strategy.

Inaccurate breath test results

Breath tests measure blood alcohol concentration levels. While often reliable, these devices are not infallible. For example, they can produce inaccurate results due to factors like improper calibration or malfunction. Questioning the reliability of breath test results can cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.

Rising blood alcohol content

The body takes time to absorb alcohol after consumption, and BAC levels can continue to rise even after a person has stopped drinking. This highlights why law enforcement must be timely when assessing BAC. It is possible for a driver’s BAC to be below the legal limit at the time of driving but exceed it when tested.

Medical conditions or medications

Certain medical conditions or medications mimic the effects of intoxication. They can also interfere with the accuracy of chemical tests. Conditions such as diabetes or the use of certain prescription medications can lead to false positives on breath tests.

Violation of rights

Any violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights can lead to the suppression of evidence or dismissal of charges. For example, if law enforcement officers failed to read the Miranda rights or conducted an unlawful search, it could jeopardize the prosecution’s case.

Everyone deserves a solid defense against criminal charges. The right defense can spare a person time and money when faced with accusations of DUI.