Posted on: 16 June 2018Share
After a wild night of drinking with your best friend, you wanted to call a cab to avoid driving drunk. However, your buddy forced you to drive by threatening you, and you are now on trial for a DUI. The good news? You may actually have a usable defense here.
DUI Cases Are Often Open-and Shut
As you can imagine, most DUI cases are pretty open and shut for the person who was drinking. After all, the breathalyzer indicated a high level of intoxication and you were clearly drunk. The police officers have many witnesses, including who is now probably your ex-best friend, claiming that you were quite drunk while driving.
As a result, you may be tempted to plead guilty in this case and simply get probation. That is an understandable action if you were not forced to drive by your friend. However, there are several defenses for DUI that you can use, and this is one of them.
How Duress Can Be Used As A Defense
What you may not realize is that your friend pressuring or even forcing you to drive may be considered a form of duress. However, a friend simply arguing with you and convincing you to drive is not duress. There needs to be a serious risk of either serious injury or even death surrounding your defense of duress.
For example, your friend may have actually assaulted you physically and threatened to hurt you even more if you didn't drive. Even if they didn't hit you, they may have seriously threatened you with violence. In this instance, you may just have a case of duress. DUI lawyers are always excited about this possibility because it can help you win your case.
Unfortunately, Proving Duress Is Not Simple
As you can imagine, proving duress can be a very difficult situation. You're going to need more than your word to show that your friend forced you to drive. There must be eyewitnesses who can back up your claim. You also must be able to show that there was a real threat to your health and well being and that your friend wasn't simply exaggerating.
For example, bruises and cuts from any violence can be used to show how they hurt you to force you to drive. If you suffered from a real fight on the day you drove drunk, you should get pictures taken as soon as possible to show these injuries. Sometimes, the arresting officer will take these pictures for you as evidence.
So, if you are in a situation like this one, don't hesitate to contact a DUI personal attorney right away. These professionals understand these driving laws and can take steps to ensure that you can beat a wrap that was unfairly levied at you.