Common drunk driving defenses in Florida and other states
Written by Moses & Rooth on September 5, 2014
A lot of Florida residents who are arrested on DUI and/or DWI charges see it as the end of the world. Indeed, such charges can be exceedingly serious, and they can even result in jail time in certain situations. However, there are numerous defenses that accused individuals can use in court to try and get their charges dropped or dismissed.
The following defense strategies might be applicable depending on the facts of a case and the state in which the arrest occurred.
— “Necessity” is one defense in which the allegedly inebriated the driver proves that he or she was forced to drive while intoxicated in order to prevent a greater evil from occurring.
— “Duress” is another defense, where a driver is forced by another person beyond his or her will to drive while drunk.
— “Entrapment” is a situation in which an officer asks a drunken person to operate a motor vehicle.
— “Involuntary Intoxication” is a defense that says a person became inebriated unknowingly — for example, if a bowl of punch was unknowingly spiked at a party.
— “Mistake of Fact” is a defense in which a person honestly did not know he or she was inebriated at the time of driving.
The following DUI defenses have to do with the manner in which the accused person was initially pulled over or they seek to invalidate factual evidence used to prove guilt.
— “The Improper Stop” defense seeks to show that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to pull over the accused driver in the first place.
— “The Accuracy of Field Sobriety Test,” “Accuracy of Breathalyzer Test” and “Accuracy of Blood Test” defenses try to invalidate test results that allegedly prove the accused individual was drunk.
Finally, another interesting defense that could apply in certain states and circumstances is the “Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration” defense, which claims that the accused person’s blood alcohol content was lower at the time he or she was pulled over than at the time various sobriety tests were actually administered. For example, this defense might be used to allege that when the person was driving, the full amount of alcohol consumed had yet to hit his or her system.
By reviewing the facts associated with a drunk driving arrest, a DUI defense attorney will be able to develop the defense strategy that is most suitable for a given situation.
Source: FindLaw, “Defenses to Drunk Driving” Sep. 04, 2014