A person who has been charged for drunk driving in Massachusetts may attempt to build a viable defense in a number of different ways. Depending on the details of the case, a person could build an affirmative defense or dispute the observations of police officers.
Defendants who are using an affirmative defense will be admitting that they drove drunk because they were forced to by factors that were not within their control. This type of defense is not very common in drunk driving cases, but it could be effective in situations where an individual has ingested alcohol unknowingly or driven with an honest belief that they were not impaired. An affirmative defense against a DUI charge could also be used by an individual who was forced to drive out of absolute necessity or told to drive under the threat of force.
More common DUI defense strategies involve the defendant questioning the evidence that is being used to prove that they were intoxicated. The defendant might dispute the accuracy of field sobriety test results or question whether the device that was used to test a breath sample was in good working order. Many DUI defendants challenge the legality of the traffic stop that led to their charge by arguing that the police officer had no probable cause to conduct the stop.
Every drunk driving case involves a unique set of variables that can have a significant impact on the viability of different defense strategies. A person who has been charged for impaired driving will likely want to consult with a criminal defense attorney in order to determine what type of strategy will be most appropriate.
Source: FindLaw, “Defenses to Drunk Driving”, accessed on March 14, 2015