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DUI Defenses: How to Avoid Charges for Drunk Driving in California?

Okabe & Haushalter Mar 9, 2018 DUI

DUI is one of the most common charges in the U.S., the country where 28 Americans die in car accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver every single day.

Between 1.1 million and 1.4 million people are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs every year across the country. But a DUI charge is not the end of the world, as there are quite a few options to defend yourself against a drunk driving charge.

Today, our San Francisco DUI defense attorney at the Okabe & Haushalter law firm is going to outline the best affirmative and most common defenses against DUI charges in California.

DUI defenses: affirmative

Necessity (aka great evil): You have to prove that you had no choice but to get behind the wheel of your vehicle intoxicated to prevent a greater evil. The so-called greater evil must be deemed as much more serious than the potential harm caused by driving under the influence. For example, a drunk woman could choose to drive away from home to escape a domestic violence situation.

Duress: Having no choice but to drive while intoxicated to avoid severe injuries or even death. This happens when some else forces a drunk person to drive by the threat of force.

Entrapment: It may sound absurd, but this particular defense can help you avoid drunk driving charges if you can prove that a police officer encouraged or forced you to gulp down alcohol before driving or encouraged you to drive under the influence.

The mistake of Fact: You can challenge the accuracy of a breathalyzer test or any other evidence purportedly showing that you were intoxicated if you have an honest belief that you weren’t drunk or on drugs at the time of the arrest. For example, your San Francisco DUI defense lawyer can mount a vigorous defense in court to prove that you had a legitimate reason to believe that your blood alcohol concentration was back to normal after a night of drinking.

Involuntary Intoxication: One of the most common drunk driving defenses in San Francisco and California is involuntary intoxication. The term involuntary intoxication refers to when a person unintentionally ingests alcohol or drugs without knowledge. For example, you can argue that you ordered non-alcoholic cocktails at a party, and the bartender must have gotten the recipe all wrong.

Other drunk driving defenses in California

Lack of probable cause to stop: One of the most commonly mounted DUI defense that claims that the police officer had no probable cause to make the traffic stop that led to the arrest on DUI charges. However, this one will be effective only if your attorney can prove that there was absolutely no reason to stop your vehicle and to test your blood for BAC.

Administration or accuracy of field sobriety test or breathalyzer test: A DUI arrest may be dismissed if your DUI defense attorney can prove that the administration of field sobriety test or breathalyzer test was improper or inadequate, or that the tests showed inaccurate results.

Rising BAC: A person arrested for DUI could claim that the concentration of alcohol in his/her blood increased while he/she was driving, but the BAC was actually below the legally allowable limit before getting behind the wheel. For example, a person who ingested alcohol before leaving the party was confident that he could drive home without causing no harm – as his home is just a few minutes away from the nightclub – but there were traffic jams and he/she was eventually stopped at a traffic stop.

What type of DUI defense should choose? This will depend on the circumstances of your particular case. Only an experienced drunk driving attorney in San Francisco can help you mount an aggressive and efficient defense to avoid DUI charges and penalties.

Seek legal advice today by contacting the Okabe & Haushalter law firm. Get a free consultation by calling our offices at 310-430-7799 or complete this contact form.