Drunk driving charges are serious criminal charges. Drivers who are facing them should be prepared to defend themselves which requires familiarity with their criminal defense rights and the criminal defense options available to them.
There are different approaches to defending against drunk driving charges and the best option is situation-specific for each accused driver. Sometimes, an affirmative defense may apply to help the accused driver avoid the potential penalties and consequences of a DWI charge. Affirmative defenses are a category of defenses that include duress, involuntary intoxication, mistakes of fact and entrapment. These are specific defenses so accused drivers should understand if they apply to their situation and circumstances.
Other defenses to drunk driving can include challenging the traffic stop, breathalyzer test results or field sobriety test. If the accused driver was subjected to an improper stop, that may be a criminal defense option to consider. Additionally, if the breathalyzer test or field sobriety test was not conducted in an appropriate manner to produce reliable and accurate results, it may be possible to challenge the test and the charges that result. Both breathalyzer tests and field sobriety tests are subject to certain requirements to be considered reliable. Breathalyzer tests in particular must be routinely maintained and calibrated in addition to being properly administered which is also a requirement for a field sobriety test.
Drunk driving charges can result in significant penalties and consequences for the accused driver that can be life-altering. Knowing what may serve as a criminal defense strategy for accused drivers is essential to ameliorating the potentially devastating impact of a DWI charge.