Although New Jersey motorists who are accused of drunk driving often believe that they will automatically face serious consequences, there are certain defenses that can result in an acquittal. In very rare circumstances, affirmative defenses may be utilized. However, highlighting holes in the police officer's observations tend to be more common.
Affirmative defenses to drunk driving charges may include duress, which means a motorist drove while drunk to avoid serious injury or death. An example would be if an intoxicated driver was forced to drive by the threat of harm. Another potential affirmative defense is entrapment. This is when an officer encourages a motorist to drive a vehicle while under the influence. A person could have also unknowingly ingested alcohol before driving. For example, a spiked drink could lead to unintentional intoxication.
More commonly, a defense attorney will look for problems with the arresting officer's case. For example, one of the most common defenses is an improper stop. This is when the officer did not have probable cause to stop the vehicle. An attorney might also argue that the field sobriety test or breathalyzer test was inaccurate or not administered properly.
When a New Jersey motorist is accused of drunk driving and is charged with a DUI/DWI, the consequences can be severe. However, there are many different types of defenses that could challenge the charges or even reduce the consequences. An attorney may review a defendant's case before developing a legal strategy. If the strategy is successful, the charges could be completely dropped.