Affirmative Defenses / Mitigating Circumstances to a DUI
March 6th, 2015
An affirmative defense is a fact or circumstance that defeats or lessens the legal consequences of an action. After you are arrested for a DUI, if you can present one or more of these affirmative defenses in your case, then you may be able to get the penalty lessened. Some affirmative defenses for DUIs include:
Observations of others- If other people are present while you are drinking or in the car when you are pulled over they may be able to offer evidence of your coordination and intoxication level. If someone can testify to your ability to walk, respond to questions, or drive safely that may help your case.
Drinking History If you can accurately testify to how many drinks you had, what kind of drinks you had, and when you had the drinks, a toxicologist may be able to determine your blood alcohol level at the time of the DUI.
Favorable Test Result Sometimes a preliminary breath test will show a lower BAC than a subsequent test at the police station. If this is the case, the court can take into consideration the preliminary test result in addition to the higher result at the station.
Medical Defenses - In many cases people who get DUIs suffer from preexisting medical conditions that can produce similar symptoms to alcohol and can similarly affect driving or ability to pass a sobriety test. The list of medical conditions that can impair your driving is extensive. Some medical conditions that Maryland courts take into consideration include Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue, concussion, cold, fever, stroke, tendinitis, vertigo etc. Things as small as belching immediately before a breath test can cause a higher than accurate test reading. If you can prove that a preexisting medical condition contributed to your erratic driving or falsely elevated your BAC then the court may consider it as a mitigating circumstance.
Defective Vehicle - In some cases, an issue with your car causes you to drive erratically and appear as though you are more intoxicated than you are. If you had a mechanical issue with your car you can have a mechanic testify help mitigate the legal consequences of the DUI.
The Law Offices of David Reuben help Maryland mitigate DUI cases daily. For a free consultation, call us today at(410) 766-4044.