How do you defend yourself against drunk driving charges? It’s a simple question, but it may sound silly to even ask it. This is because most people assume that someone who is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is guilty — even though we are all presumed innocent to begin with.

However, there are plenty of ways that the accused person and his or her legal team can address the drunk driving charge. Here are a few specific ways that the defense can argue against the charges:

  • The police or prosecution botched the traffic stop, the case, and/or the evidence. This happens more often than you would think. The police officer may not have had probable cause before stopping you. The police officer may have violated your rights or not read you your Miranda rights. The prosecution may not have followed the chain of custody for the evidence involved in your case. All of these things can dramatically alter the outcome of a DUI case.
  • The circumstances in your case are unique. Were you in a remote area outside of cell service while drinking, and then a friend suffered a heart attack? Were you forced to drive drunk under threat of violence? Were you unaware of your own intoxication due to your drink being spiked? These circumstances could be used as “affirmative” defenses.
  • The accused wasn’t driving. This can vary from state to state as to what “driving” legally means, so you should consider consulting with an attorney in these cases.

Source: FindLaw, “Defenses to Drunk Driving,” Accessed April 2, 2018