Not everyone charged for a DUI in Indiana has to take a plea deal. Many people successfully argue for a dismissal using a legitimate defense. While most people defend against a DUI charge by disputing the validity of evidence, some people are able to have their charges dismissed with an affirmative defense.
Rare affirmative DUI defenses
An affirmative defense in a drunk driving case is when the defendant admits that they were impaired but argues that they shouldn’t be charged for DUI. This type of argument is rare, but there are some real circumstances where it can be used. For example:
- The defendant was driving drunk under duress. In other words, someone was forcing them to drive while threatening their life.
- The defendant was entrapped by a police officer that instructed them to drive drunk.
- The defendant ingested a “spiked” drink and did not know that they were drunk before they drove.
- The defendant was in a situation where they had to drive drunk in order to avoid a greater evil.
Common DUI defenses
It’s much more common for a DUI defendant to dispute the evidence in their case. By arguing that the evidence is faulty, the DUI defendant is essentially arguing that there is no valid proof that they were drunk. In other cases, a DUI defendant will dispute the entire traffic stop, arguing that police did not have the requisite reasonable suspicion to pull them over in the first place.
The results of breath, blood and urine tests are often key pieces of evidence in DUI cases. A DUI defendant might argue that the test that was administered to them was performed improperly. Some DUI defendants have successfully argued that breath tests are inherently flawed and can easily display false positive results.
There are other, far less common, defenses against DUI. One defense is that the accused driver wasn’t actually driving. This could be relevant if police stopped a car with more than one person in it. Improper police behavior during the traffic stop can also be used as a defense.