If you’re the victim of a DWI arrest, there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t just accept a conviction without a fight — especially if you’re not guilty of driving while intoxicated — and these DWI punishments all focus around long-term consequences that can affect every part of your life. It’s possible to get away with a standard fine for a small drunk driving charge, but it’s just as possible to end up with thousands of dollars in fines, jail time, a loss of driving privileges, and even fewer opportunities for housing and employment.
Is it easy to fight a drunk charge on your own? Definitely not. In fact, most experts recommend that anyone who’s caught driving while intoxicated should always turn to a lawyer for help, simply because if you lose your case, the consequences are just too severe to ignore.
Nevertheless, it’s always good to keep in mind the common defenses taken in DWI cases so that you know what to expect. For example,
- The most common reason for a DWI case to be dismissed is because of a technical error, usually on behalf of the police officer. Many roadside tests are not accurate measurements of intoxication; walking in a straight line or touching your finger to your nose are not considered accurate measurements. If a standard breathalyzer test isn’t provided on the roadside or if you aren’t immediately taken to a medical facility for a urine or blood analysis, that’s considered a technical problem and could be grounds for a case dismissal.
- Even the standard breathalyzer test may be slightly off in BAC measurement, so it’s possible for a case to be dismissed if no other evidence proves that your BAC was above the legal limit of .08%. Additionally, it’s possible for this type of test to be skewed by other trace amounts of alcohol — if you recently ate a cough drop, for example, or if you recently took asthma medication containing alcohol. These don’t signify that a driver is intoxicated, but they can sometimes cause inaccurate test results.
- It’s also possible to argue that you were driving while intoxicated, but that you had a reason for doing so. This defense is one of the harder ones to take, but it has worked in some cases. For example, if a driver was forced to get behind the wheel after drinking, or even tricked into doing so, it’s not always considered a standard DWI. If you were in a life-threatening situation or had a medical emergency, an exception to standard drunk driving laws may be granted as well.