When people are accused of drunk driving, they may not be aware of various defenses they might be able to assert in their cases. The appropriate defense to a drunk driving charge will depend largely on the individual facts and circumstances of the case.
Common defenses to drunk driving include challenging the initial stop, challenging the chain of custody for any blood sample that was taken, challenging the administration of the roadside sobriety testing and challenging the administration and results of any Breathalyzer or blood testing performed. In order to stop a driver in the first place, officers need to have sufficient probable cause to believe he or she has committed a traffic offense. If there was no bad driving, a defense might lie through a challenge of the stop itself.
In order for the tests to be reliable, blood must be drawn within a certain time period after the stop. If the blood is drawn too late, the results may be challenged as unreliable. Breathalyzer testing must be performed in a certain manner, and such things as the officer testing the person after burping or vomiting can interfere with the results may form a challenge basis. Similarly, if the machine was not calibrated correctly or has a history of repairs and errors, the results might be challenged.
People who face DUI charges may initially feel they have no choice but to plead guilty. It makes sense, however, for people to consult with a criminal defense attorney who may advise his or her client about defenses they may have in their particular case. In addition to identifying defenses, a criminal defense attorney may also help even in cases in which a conviction is likely by securing a plea to a lesser offense. By doing so, people may be able to minimize the consequences they might otherwise face.