Boulder, Colorado, has been your go-to summer vacation destination for the last several years to escape the heat. With sweeping views of the Rockies as well as limitless options for hiking and outdoor recreation the small town just outside of Denver has everything you want to recharge and reset. It also does not hurt that there are a number of microbreweries offering tasty artisanal brews and unique menus.
What happens if your self-guided brew tour ends in arrest? What will you do if you receive a driving under the influence (DUI) charge while you are enjoying your vacation? Fortunately, there are several defenses available to drivers that are facing DUI charges. Read further to find out more about your options when it comes to defending a DUI charge.
There are generally five options for affirmative defenses. These include necessity, duress, entrapment, mistake of fact, and involuntary intoxication. Necessity occurs when an individual has to drive in order to avoid some kind of "greater evil." For example, if another person threatens to cause harm to a number of individuals if you do not drive, then you are taking the risk in order to avoid a more serious situation.
Duress occurs when a person uses force to make you drive. This is very similar to the necessity defense, but the threat of harm might be limited to you. If a law enforcement officer influences you to become intoxicated and get behind the wheel, then you may have been the victim of entrapment. In some cases, people drive believing that they are not under the influence, for example being under the impression that prescription medication has worn off. Involuntary intoxication occurs when you imbibe alcohol unaware, for instance if you drank a beverage you believed to be non-alcoholic but was actually "spiked."
Some of the most common defense against drunk driving include improper stop, faulty or inaccurate results of a sobriety test, and lost or corrupted evidence. Before an officer can legally charge you with a DUI, he or she must have had a valid reason to stop you. If you were obeying traffic laws and not displaying any signs of intoxication but an officer stopped you, your attorney may be able to successfully argue that the officer did not have probable cause for the traffic stop.
Field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests require training and knowledge in order to be properly administered by an officer. It is not uncommon for an officer to make mistakes during these tests that render the results inadmissible as evidence. If you submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, your blood sample will have to change hands between officers, lab technicians, and any other person involved in the chain of evidence. This can often result in a lost or tainted sample.
If you are facing a DUI charge in the Boulder area, it is important to remember that you still have rights and options. The right defense might be the difference between a conviction that will haunt you for the rest of your life or a clean record.