Drunk driving remains a serious problem in the United States, despite a decline in alcohol-related deaths over the past several decades. American Addiction Centers note that individuals detained for suspicion of driving under the influence or who receive a first-time DUI already drove impaired with regularity in the past.
While drinking and driving is a serious offense, each case has its own circumstances, and individuals accused of a DUI may strengthen their defense in several ways.
1. Provide limited information during the traffic stop
When authorities pull over individuals who they suspect of driving under the influence, the drivers need not incriminate themselves. Drivers can offer police their personal information, such as their name, address and proof of ownership of the vehicle but can refuse to answer questions about whether they were drinking before getting behind the wheel. As such, the accusing party may have to offer proof at any legal hearing.
2. Challenge the circumstances of the vehicle stop
Any traffic stop performed by a law official usually requires due cause. This means the law enforcement officer cannot detain a driver without good reason. While many policemen now wear body cams and use dashboard recordings, these may work in a defendant’s favor if an attorney can prove the driver was not swerving, ran a red light or otherwise drove erratically.
3. Chemical testing
In cases where the degree of drunkenness comes into question, chemical testing regarding the driver’s blood alcohol level may change the circumstances of the charges. This type of testing usually requires the input of knowledgeable individuals who can analyze changes in blood alcohol levels.
Because DUI cases can vary from person to person, the ability to challenge the charge may also rise or fall over the course of a trial or hearing.