Let’s imagine the police pull you over one night. They say you swerved out of your lane for a moment. However, you claim you didn’t do it.
You might feel like the police have some other reason for persecuting you. Maybe it’s a racially-based stop. The police want to give you a breathalyzer for sobriety determination.
You refuse, not because you have ingested alcohol, but because of the principle. You feel you did nothing wrong, and you become indignant. The police arrest you because you will not take the breathalyzer.
Now, you face a possible DUI charge, even if the police cannot establish your intoxication. You feel they are trying to use you as an example.
You can use your life’s details to establish that it’s unlikely you ingested alcohol before you drove. Here are some defense strategies you and your lawyer might implement.
You Can Say You Don’t Drink
When you’re looking at DUI defense strategies, the most obvious thing you can say, if it’s accurate, is that you don’t drink alcohol. There are plenty of people who don’t imbibe. You might not drink because:
- You don’t like the taste of it
- Your family has an alcoholism history
Some people don’t like drinking because they don’t enjoy losing control. They might feel like they’ll do or say something they will regret later. Others might know they’ve had relatives who died from excess alcohol consumption, and they know that there are genetic factors with alcoholism.
You might also have consumed alcohol earlier in your life, but you had some problems with it, and you decided to quit. If any of these are true scenarios, you can get on the witness stand and talk about them. It’s one way you can convince a jury you did not consume alcohol before you drove.
You Can Say You Don’t Drink and Drive
You can also get on the witness stand and say that you might drink alcohol occasionally, but when you do, you never drink and drive. You might:
- Relay an anecdote about a friend or family member who died or sustained a drunk driving injury
- Say that you never risk drunk driving because you’re a responsible society member
The jury might believe you, or they may not. If you can speak convincingly enough, you might sway them. It’s all about what you say and how you say it.
You Might Speak About Who Else Was in the Car
You may also speak about the other vehicle passengers. Perhaps, when the police pulled you over, your spouse and children were in the car.
You can testify there is no way you ever would have ingested alcohol and then gotten behind the wheel with your beloved family members in the vehicle with you. You can talk about how much your family members mean to you and that drinking and then driving them around is the last thing you would ever do.
Again, it’s a matter of how convincing you can be. If your lawyer questions you, and you’re able to paint a vivid family life picture, it might persuade the jury. You might need to rehearse a bit beforehand to know exactly what to say and what your demeanor should be.
You Can Talk About Your Other Life Aspects
When you talk about your life, you show the jury who you are. Your lawyer might ask you some questions about your job, your hobbies, etc.
If the police don’t have physical drunk driving evidence, they have to use anecdotal evidence or conjecture to prove their case. They might try to depict you a certain way.
You have to counter that. You might do so by describing how you contribute to charitable organizations, sing in a church choir, or work fifty hours a week to support your spouse and kids.
None of this has anything to do with what happened when the police pulled you over. What you’re trying to do is depict yourself as a sympathetic figure. This is a perfectly legal DUI defense strategy.
In reality, if the police pull you over and you refuse a breathalyzer, they can compel you to take one if they get a court order. However, until that happens, you can decline.
If the cops don’t have a positive breathalyzer result and can’t say they smelled alcohol or anything of that nature, you can fight the charges. It becomes your word against theirs, and you can probably get off.