Potential defenses to drunk driving charges

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2021 | Drug charges

Many drivers who are cited for DWI in New York have little to say in the way of a defense. Those who register well beyond the .08 BAC limit understand this well, and especially if they have been involved in an accident. Many DWI charges are very valid. However, even these defendants can be acquitted when the state has not followed proper protocol in issuing the citation and making the arrest. Police in New York are required to follow rules just like those they arrest for not following the rules and regulations of the highway. And there are even more possible defenses for those accused of DWI when no alcohol is involved.

Faulty BAC measurement devices

Both portable field sobriety measurement devices and authorized Breathalyzers can be unacceptable evidence. The authorized mechanical devices must be regularly inspected and calibrated. However, a field sobriety test can be the basis for reasonable suspicion, and a faulty test result can justify the dismissal of evidence in DWI cases when there is no evidence of reasonable suspicion beyond officer testimony. The only probable cause measurements allowable are from mechanical devices, and they can still be problematic.

Mistake of fact

Many motorists who are charged with DWI have not been drinking, but instead test positive for drug usage while driving. This too can be contested when no controlled substances are found, and especially when the defendant has a valid prescription for a specific medication. Blood tests can be contested because they do not provide evidence of immediate activity, and drug latency will still show up in testing even when the drug activity is minimal.

There are also other defenses that can apply in certain situations such as duress or being a victim of unknown alcohol consumption. This can apply when stopped coming from a party where punch has been spiked or being forced to drive against their will.