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5 affirmative defenses against drunk driving in North Carolina

The defense of truth can sometimes be the best defense of them all. For example, what if a North Carolina resident was indeed driving drunk but he or she had a legitimate reason for doing so? In a case like this, if the accused person can explain themselves and their actions sufficiently, a court might release the person of the charges.

Here are five potential affirmative defenses against a DUI charge:

-- Necessity: Let's say, your friend was dying of a heart attack. You were the only one who could drive him to the hospital, but you were drunk. Yes, you drove drunk, but you did it for a good reason: to save your friend's life.

-- Duress: If you were forced to drive drunk under the threat of injury or force, then yes, you were driving drunk, but you had no choice in the matter.

-- Entrapment: Let's say a police officer encourages you to get drunk and drive. This would be an example of entrapment. If the defendant was not already predisposed to driving drunk, but an officer encouraged him or her to do so, then an entrapment defense might work.

-- Mistake of fact: This happens when the drunk driver honestly did not know that he or she had become intoxicated. This might happen if the defendant's drink was spiked unknowingly with drugs, or if a prescription medication had a stronger effect than the defendant realized.

-- Involuntary intoxication: This could conceivably happen with a spiked bowl of punch. It's not unheard of for someone to drink something at a party and not realize it had alcohol in it.

Have you been accused of drunk driving in North Carolina? The above defenses will not always be appropriate for every case. Sometimes, another defense strategy -- or trying to negotiate a plea bargain deal -- is much more appropriate. By contacting a DUI defense lawyer, you can gain better insight on the most appropriate defense to employ in your situation.

Source: FindLaw, "Defenses against drunk driving," accessed Feb. 24, 2017

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