People who are arrested and charged with driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be given the opportunity to defend themselves against the charge. There are many different ways in which an individual may do this. For instance, he or she may use an affirmative defense by claiming that he or she was forced to drive or that driving was a necessary evil. Other affirmative defenses include asserting that an individual was entrapped or became intoxicated without consent.
There are several common defenses that a person may use to cast doubt upon a drunk driving charge. For instance, an individual may claim that the traffic stop that led to the charge was not conducted properly. Furthermore, it may be possible to claim that a blood, breath or another type of test was not performed properly. It is not uncommon for defendants to challenge the results of a horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test.
A defendant may assert that there was a break in the chain of custody of a blood test. This could give rise to questions as to whether the test was tampered with, which could create reasonable doubt in the eyes of a juror. In some cases, a driver may claim that the unlawful actions of a police officer resulted in a DUI charge.
Individuals who are facing drunk driving charges may face an assortment of penalties if convicted. These sanctions may be increased for those who have prior DUI convictions or hurt someone while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An attorney may cast doubt on evidence used to charge an individual or get it suppressed prior to the start of a trial. This may result in a favorable plea deal or a full acquittal by a jury.