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What are some tactics to fight a drunk driving charge?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | DUI

Drunk driving charges can result in very serious penalties that can include time in jail, hefty fines, community service, probation, ignition interlock devices and alcohol education and treatment. There are also collateral consequences, such as increased insurance rates and loss of driving privileges, that come with a drunk driving conviction.

For individuals who are facing these charges, determining what defense strategy approaches to utilize is a consequential undertaking. Each defense must be tailored to the specific points present in the case at issue. Some possible tactics to consider include the following.

Question the legality of the traffic stop

Officers must have reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop. If a driver wasn’t doing anything wrong, there may not be evidence showing that the officer had a valid reason to pull their vehicle over.

Question the methods of determining impairment

Police officers have several tools they can use to determine if a driver is impaired. Calling any of those into question may introduce doubt about whether a person was drunk. For example, scrutinizing the calibration or administration of a breath test or the chain of command of blood or urine taken for testing. In the case of chemical testing, even the amount of time between the traffic stop and the sample being taken may become part of the defense strategy.

Question whether the vehicle was in operation

One critical component of a drunk driving charge is that the person actually has to operate the vehicle in some capacity while they’re intoxicated. If a person goes to their vehicle to sleep off the alcohol, the defense may argue that point if the vehicle wasn’t moved. This strategy will hinge on the specific circumstances of the case, such as whether the keys were in the ignition or if the vehicle was started.

Evaluating all the options available for a defense strategy is critical in these cases. Working with a legal representative who can assist with determining how to proceed may help defendants navigate through this complex challenge as successfully as possible.