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Common strategies employed by drunk driving defense attorneys

Just because a South Carolina driver has been accused of drunk driving does not mean that he or she will be convicted or punished for the alleged crime. Indeed, a variety of drunk driving defenses might be applicable to an individual's case, which -- if used successfully in court -- could help the individual get his or her charges dropped or dismissed.

One common defense that is used by those accused of drunk driving is that of "necessity." The necessity defense seeks to prove that the allegedly inebriated person had no choice but to drive while intoxicated. For example, it may have been necessary to operate a vehicle in order to transport a sick person to the hospital. In this defense, it must be shown that the dangers associated with driving drunk were a great deal less serious than what would have happened otherwise.

Another common defense is known as "involuntary intoxication." This defense is applicable in situations where a driver unknowingly became intoxicated. For instance, the driver might have consumed a drink at a party that he or she believed was non-alcoholic.

Other DUI defenses focus on revealing that the alleged evidence of drunkenness is inaccurate -- evidence like breathalyzer test results, field sobriety test results and blood test results. There is also the defense of "rising blood alcohol concentration," where a defense attorney tries to show that an individual was not inebriated -- or did not have the same level of inebriation -- at the time of driving. Rather, it was only after being pulled over that the alcohol in the driver's stomach slowly made its way into his or her bloodstream to increase his or her level of inebriation.

Every South Carolina drunk driving case is different, and each requires a unique analysis of the facts at hand. Ultimately, though, an experienced criminal defense attorney can determine what defense strategy has the highest likelihood of success, given applicable laws and the evidence that the prosecution has gathered against his or her client.

Source: FindLaw, "Defenses to Drunk Driving" Sep. 04, 2014

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