How To Defend Against Drunk Driving Charges

Davis-Jones Law Sept. 25, 2019

When you’re charged with drunk driving, it may sometimes seem all but hopeless to try fighting the charges; you might assume that the outcome is a foregone conclusion, and that there’s no way DWI charges can be effectively rebuffed.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. Actually, there are a number of effective defenses that can be raised in the face of DWI charges.

The best way to fight your case, of course, is to hire a skilled DWI attorney who can review all the details and identify the defense that makes the most sense for you.

Common Defenses for DWI Charges

Here are just some of the potential ways of defending against a DWI charge.

Illegal search and seizure

According to the Fourth Amendment, the police need a valid reason for pulling you over for a DWI in the first place. If they can’t furnish one, then all the evidence they collected during the stop, including breathalyzer results, will be thrown out, likely leaving them without a case at all.

Being pulled over just for being in a high-crime neighborhood

Some police officers will pull over random drivers simply for being in a bad neighborhood; this is not a valid reason for them to stop you.

Coerced cooperation

When you’re pulled over on DWI suspicions, you’ll likely be asked to take a field test… walking in a straight line, saying your ABCs backwards, or something like that. These tests are designed to trip you up and we recommend that you always decline them, which is your legal right. If the arresting officer makes you feel like you have no choice, or that you are being forced to take the test, that qualifies as illegal coercion, and it can result in the evidence being thrown out of court.

Long wait

Did the arresting officer pull you over, then make you sit in your car for over an hour while he or she waited for another officer to arrive with a breathalyzer test? That may qualify as an unreasonable violation of your rights, and in some instances may be enough to get the case dismissed.

The officer never saw you driving

You cannot be arrested on DWI charges if the officer never actually saw you operating the vehicle, plain and simple.

Miranda violation

If the officer interrogated you without first reading you your Miranda rights, that can be enough to have the whole case dismissed.

You didn’t understand what the officer was saying about the breath test or the field test

If the officer is unclear or misleading in their presentation of these tests, that, too, can qualify as a Miranda violation, and potentially render the results inadmissible in court.

You were refused a blood test

You are legally allowed to decline the breathalyzer test in favor of an independent blood test; if the officer refuses you this right, it can result in your case being dismissed.

You were reporting an accident

If you call to report an accident and then the officer starts grilling you about drinking, that may violate your accident reporting privilege, especially if the officer never witnessed you operating the vehicle.

Learn More from an Austin DWI Attorney

As you can see, there are a number of ways to fight DWI charges and clear your name, or at the very least minimize your legal burden.

Again, the best place to start is with hiring a skilled DWI attorney. Davis-Jones Law is a trusted DWI defense firm representing the Austin, Texas area. If you have been charged with a DWI and need someone to defend your rights, please reach out to us right away.