Defenses to Drunk-Driving Charges


DUI Lawyers Using Defenses for Clients in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Throughout Michigan

Unfortunately, many individuals who are charged with drunk driving, DUI, DWI, and other related offenses believe there is no defense to the offense they are accused of. At Grabel & Associates, we know there are numerous effective defense tactics, which may be used to defend someone charged with drunk driving. Depending on the circumstances and factors in your individual case, there may be an appropriate defense that can result in reduction or dismissal of the charges.

Because every drunk driving case is different, it is essential that you consult with one of our talented Michigan drunk driving attorneys who will review your case to determine first of all whether the charge against you can be challenged, and if so, what type of defense would be most effective. Like with all other criminal offense charges, the individual accused is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Possible Defenses to a Michigan Drunk Driving Charge

  • Improper Stop
  • Improperly Performed Field Sobriety Test or Chemical Testing
  • Inaccurate Blood/Breath Test Equipment/Instruments Used
  • No Evidence You Were Operating the Vehicle
  • Suppression of Incriminating Statements
  • Defects in Charging Documents
  • Chemical/substance Interference

Improper or illegal stop: Without having a reasonable suspicion to believe that an individual has violated the law, a Michigan police officer cannot stop you. For instance, if an individual is pulled over based on the fact that an officer witnessed you coming out of an establishment that serves alcohol and get into a car, your rights may have been violated - which means the charge could potentially be dismissed.

Improper field sobriety test or chemical testing: When a police officer determines that an individual has failed the sobriety test, that determination may be challenged, as no standardized rules exist for this type of testing. Police are required to follow guidelines, however it has been proven in studies that field sobriety tests are both high inaccurate, and subjective. Chemical testing may be challenged as well, as instruments used to conduct these tests must be properly calibrated and maintained. Additionally, police must adhere to administrative rules and statutes when taking blood and/or breath samples.

Inaccurate blood or breath test instruments or equipment used: Just as with any type of equipment, machines used to test an individual's blood, breath, or urine are not always fail-proof. Results may be inaccurate when equipment is not properly calibrated, and courts understand that the results of these tests are not always 100% accurate.

No evidence you were operating the vehicle: There are circumstances in which a police officer cannot prove than an individual was actually operating a vehicle. Even if the vehicle was running and you were sitting behind the steering wheel, it does not automatically prove that you were operating, or driving, the vehicle. For example, an individual may be sleeping in a vehicle with the engine running for warmth; this does not necessarily indicate drunk driving, as the vehicle was not actually moving or in any position to put others at risk.

Suppression of incriminating statements: Police officers are required by law to read an individual his or her Miranda warning, stating that anything an individual says may be used against him or her in a court of law. If police fail to read these rights, or do so improperly, statements you make may be suppressed. While Michigan courts are not as inclined as they once were to suppress incriminating statements when a police officer fails to read the defendant his/her rights, it may still work as an effective defense depending on the particular set of circumstances.

Defects in charging documents: There are situations in which a police officer's credibility may be challenged when mistakes are made in a police report or charging document. Essentially, if an officer errs in documenting the day, time, or location where you were stopped, there may be other facts that are wrong. This is bad news for the prosecutor, who relies heavily on the arresting officer's testimony.

Chemical/substance interference resulting in false breath tests: Cough drops, asthma spray, hairspray, and paints - there are many chemicals and substances, which contain alcohol. These substances could result in a false positive breath test.

There are other issues, which may become a defense as well depending on each individual's case. For instance, a video or dispatch tape taken from a police officer's patrol car may indicate that field sobriety tests were not properly administered, or even that the officer may be in some way biased toward the driver.

Contact Our Michigan Drunk Driving Defense Firm Today

Regardless of your innocence or guilt, it is critical that you consult with a capable and qualified Michigan criminal defense lawyer immediately if you have been arrested for drunk driving. As you can see, there are many defenses that may be used on your behalf. Even if you did get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol, it does not mean you have no options. The team at Grabel & Associates will work aggressively, putting our skill and experience into developing a strong and effective defense strategy. We are available 24/7, so contact us now at 1-800-783-4448.