There are different methods of defending against drunk driving charges all of which individuals accused of drunk driving should be familiar with. Different criminal defense protections may be available to accused individuals in different situations so knowing the legal options is essential.
There are different types of drunk driving defenses that accused individuals should be aware of and one category is referred to as affirmative defenses. Affirmative defenses to drunk driving charges include necessity; duress; entrapment; mistake of fact; and involuntary intoxication. Affirmative defenses may apply in limited circumstances, so it is important for accused individuals to know if an affirmative defense may apply to their situation.
Other criminal defenses that may apply to DUI charges include defenses that are based on challenging the observations of the arresting officer or challenging the charges if any of the accused individual's rights were violated during the stop that resulted in the charges or if proper procedures were not followed during the stop. This may include challenging a breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test. It may be possible to challenge either the administration or accuracy of a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. Police officers must be properly trained concerning how to administer a breathalyzer test or conduct a field sobriety test. It is also important that a breathalyzer test be properly maintained and calibrated for the results to be accurate.
Other circumstances may also contribute to a criminal defense to drunk driving charges including that the chain of custody of any blood or urine sample that was taken was not properly preserved or if the accused individual's blood alcohol content level rose between the time of the stop and the time of the breath test. The criminal justice system can be intimidating for individuals accused of driving under the influence which is why they should be familiar with their criminal defense rights and be prepared with a strong criminal defense strategy.