What Are Some Defenses for a DUI?

Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can have devastating personal, professional, financial, and legal consequences. However, there are often viable legal defenses that can be used to fight DUI charges. Leveraging these defenses with the help of skilled DUI counsel provides the best chance at avoiding penalties or achieving charge reductions and dismissals. Anyone accused of impaired driving needs to understand the available defenses that may protect their rights and freedom.

Understanding DUI Charges

Legally, DUI charges allege that the driver was impaired and unable to safely operate a motor vehicle due to alcohol or drug intoxication. The level of criminal charges depends on factors like:

  • Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level
  • Prior DUI convictions
  • Whether property damage or bodily injury occurred

In most states, first offense misdemeanor DUIs can result in fines, license suspension, jail time, mandatory alcohol education, ignition interlock devices, and increased insurance costs. These penalties escalate significantly for repeat offenses. Knowing the defenses that challenge the validity of DUI charges is critical.

Common Defenses Against DUI Charges

Several defenses commonly utilized to fight DUI allegations include:

Improper Stop

The legality of the initial traffic stop can often be challenged on constitutional grounds or lack of probable cause. Evidence obtained after an improper stop may be excluded. DUI checkpoint stops without reasonable suspicion also violate rights.

Administration and Accuracy of Field Sobriety Test

Failing non-scientific field sobriety tests cannot conclusively prove intoxication since many innocent factors like injuries or medical conditions can influence performance. Proper procedures may not have been followed as well. The validity of these subjective tests is frequently challengeable.

Administration and Accuracy of Breathalyzer Test

Breathalyzers are scientifically unreliable below certain thresholds and have frequently been improperly calibrated and administered. Radio frequency interference, medical conditions, mouth alcohol, and machine errors can distort results. Securing breath sample forensics and expert testimony can invalidate breathalyzer evidence.

The Role of Legal Counsel

Retaining an experienced DUI attorney is the most effective way to protect your rights and future if facing drunk driving allegations. Skilled DUI lawyers have expansive knowledge of all viable defenses to secure dismissals or mitigation of charges. They can also obtain evidence like police reports and breathalyzer records, hire investigators and specialists, negotiate plea bargains for lesser charges, and fiercely advocate at trial if necessary. For those wrongly accused, a lawyer maximizes the odds of avoiding unfair DUI penalties.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Specifically, a DUI defense lawyer can:

  • Review police reports for rights violations and improper procedures
  • Contest unconstitutional checkpoints and traffic stops
  • Challenge field sobriety and breathalyzer test results
  • Seek breath and blood sample forensic analysis
  • Discredit witness testimony and statements
  • Negotiate plea agreements where appropriate
  • Defend against charges at trial

In Summation

Being arrested for DUI can happen even when completely sober and wrongfully accused. Never hesitate to exercise your rights to legal representation and a rigorous defense. Knowledge of defenses and retaining specialized DUI counsel gives the accused the greatest chance of avoiding license suspension, fines, jail time, a criminal conviction, and other harsh DUI penalties. In an imperfect system, a robust defense is imperative to justice.


What are some common defenses against DUI charges?

Common DUI defenses challenge improper traffic stops, inaccurate field sobriety and breathalyzer tests, mistakes with Mirandas notices, and errors in police procedures.

Why hire a DUI lawyer?

Experienced DUI lawyers know how to build the strongest defense by identifying issues, collecting evidence, hiring experts, and advocating for reduced charges or acquittal.

What can discredit breathalyzer test results?

Faulty calibration, improper administration, medical conditions, mouth alcohol, radio interference, and machine defects can invalidate breathalyzer accuracy, making the results challengeable.

Contact Us Now

If you or someone you love has been arrested or charged with a crime in Massachusetts, you need the top-notch defense team at Criminal Defense Attorney Thomas Kokonowski. With offices in Amherst and Northampton, Attorney Kokonowski brings nearly 30 years of unmatched criminal trial experience to protect your rights.

As a former Hampden County prosecutor, Attorney Kokonowski conducted approximately 30 criminal trials even before finishing law school. This gave him an insider view of prosecutorial strategies so he could better defend the accused. After passing the bar exam on his first attempt, Attorney Kokonowski joined the District Attorney’s office as a full-time prosecutor to gain more invaluable experience.

Over the next few years, he engaged in around 100 additional criminal hearings and trials. When Attorney Kokonowski entered private practice in 1994, he had the skills, knowledge, and tenacity to take on tough cases and fight aggressively for his clients.

Attorney Kokonowski handles all types of criminal matters from misdemeanors to serious felonies. He is not afraid to file motions attacking constitutional violations and litigate them all the way to preserve your rights. With his deep understanding of criminal procedure and law enforcement tactics, Attorney Kokonowski can locate issues like improper searches or failure to provide Miranda rights.

If your case goes to trial, you have a tireless fighter in your corner. Attorney Kokonowski’s proven record of dismissals and not guilty verdicts speaks for itself. He knows how to craft a compelling defense targeting any flaws or inconsistencies in the prosecutor’s case.

Beyond criminal defense, Attorney Kokonowski also represents clients in civil litigation including personal injury lawsuits and contract disputes. This diverse courtroom experience gives him creative skills to approach your criminal case from every angle.

Don’t take chances with your future – call Attorney Kokonowski today at (413) 585-9200 or (413) 549-0022 for experienced and aggressive representation. His unique background as a prosecutor provides inside knowledge of the system that could make all the difference in defending your case. Let this relentless trial lawyer use his unparalleled experience to be your voice in the courtroom. Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Thomas Kokonowski today!



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