No driver wants to face DUI charges which can result in serious penalties and consequences to their personal and professional lives. As a result, drivers who have been accused of driving under the influence and facing DUI charges should understand their criminal defense rights.
There are several different ways to challenge DUI charges including challenging the accuracy or reliability of a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test. Breathalyzer tests must be properly maintained and calibrated. Police officers must also be properly trained to administer a breathalyzer test and must conduct the test according to the training they have received. Also, police officers must ensure that the accused driver’s bodily functions do not interfere with the test results. Likewise, field sobriety tests must be administered according to the testing the police officer received and police officers must be properly trained.
In addition, drivers who have been accused of driving under the influence may also be able to challenge the legality of the traffic stop that led to their arrest and the charges they are facing. Authorities must require certain procedures to protect the rights of accused drivers otherwise they may leave themselves open to challenges to any criminal charges that result. Lastly, police officers must ensure the chain of evidence is properly followed if any blood test for blood alcohol concentration level is conducted and that there are no problems with rising blood alcohol level between the traffic stop and an eventual blood test that is administered.
Another category of defenses, affirmative defenses, including necessity, duress, entrapment, mistake of fact and involuntary intoxication, may apply in certain specific circumstances accused drivers should also be familiar with. Overall, it is important for accused drivers to be prepared with their DUI defense options when they are facing the potential penalties and consequences of drunk driving charges.