Defenses for a Columbia DUI Offense

An attorney can help individuals better comprehend the reasoning behind an officers suspicion of drug DUI offenses. An experienced DUI attorney know that when the officer has suspicions, they provide field sobriety tests to look for indicators of impairment. Generally, the officer is someone with specific training or is a drug recognition expert (DRE). When somebody takes a breath test has a zero BAC, they may be asked to take a urine test if the officer believes they are impaired.

An attorney can help you seek evidence to present as potential defenses for a Columbia DUI offense. If the person refuses the urine test, the officer may take them to get a blood test. The person is allowed to request their affirmative assistance and requests an independent blood test from a hospital. There are can be indicators of impairment from the field sobriety, such as slurred speech, inability to walk properly, and urine or blood tests.

Understanding Implied Consent Laws

In South Carolina, a person has impliedly consented to take the tests by driving their car. Meaning, they do not have a constitutional right to drive or that it is a privilege to drive under the law. In doing so, the driver impliedly consented to taking any form of urine or blood test. Individuals do not have a constitutional right not to take the test.

If they recently smoked marijuana and know they are going to test positive, they have to weigh the cost-benefit, the risk/reward of whether they want to provide extra evidence against them in their DUI case. If they refuse to take the urine test, their license is suspended for six months.

It is ultimately their choice to decide on whether they want to risk having their driver’s license suspended for six months versus building evidence against them by providing proof of DUI.

Can A Driver’s Actions Influence Possible Defenses for a Columbia DUI?

Admitting guilt and answering questions that someone is not required to respond to could possibly hinder their defenses for a Columbia DUI offense. The person may be required to provide their driver’s license, proof of insurance, and their registration. Another mistake lawyers have commonly seen is consenting to the search of a vehicle. When the officer does not have probable cause, a person has an absolute right to not consent to the search of their vehicle.

What is Involuntary Intoxication?

Involuntary intoxication is generally a jury question that the jury must decide during a trial. If a person truly does not know or could not find out through a warning label that they would have a side-effect or their ability to drive would be impaired, involuntary intoxication could be a valid defense to prove the person was not DUI. However, a basic prescription medication with warnings and possible side-effects from the pharmacy about driving while taking the medication voids the involuntary intoxication part. It can be extremely important to consult with legal representation bef0re determining usable defenses for a Columbia DUI offense.

Prosecutions Assertion of Liability

When a person truly did not know the drug would impair them, the prosecutor must prove that the person should have known through the warning label provided on the medication or must prove that the side-effect was a known side-effect and that information was provided by the pharmacy.

The prosecutor must prove that the person did know, and as with any case, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person’s intent was that they were going to be under the influence of the drugs or they knew the drugs had the ability.

Requirements of an Involuntary Defense

An individual must present evidence of involuntary intoxication should they chose to use that argument as part of their defenses for a Columbia DUI offense. The prosecution must refute the defense that the person did not have any way to know about the drug’s potential to impair their ability to drive or that the drug had a known side-effect on a warning label provided by the pharmacy.

It is an issue presented as a defense by a DUI lawyer that there was involuntary intoxication and it must be disproven by the prosecutor that the person did have knowledge the reaction was a possibility based on the medication. Ultimately it is a jury question, a question of fact that the jury must decide.