Top 3 Worst DUI Defenses

DUI defenses

Being charged with driving under the Influence is serious business. In Chicago and in every courthouse across the State of Illinois, even a first-time misdemeanor DUI offender is subject to a maximum of a $2500 fine and up to 365 days in jail. Depending on the person’s criminal and traffic background, this maximum penalty may rise to that of a felony offense and potentially include years in the penitentiary. The Illinois criminal statutes outline a vast number of aggravating circumstances which can make a drunk driving charge more serious, including causing injury to another, transporting a child or driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

Nevertheless, every year, people continue to drive under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or other drugs and a great many of those people are subsequently pulled over, arrested and charged with DUI. Although there are many legitimate defenses to the charge of DUI, those accused of this traffic crime often turn to the internet or a “friend of a friend” for advice about which Driving Under the Influence defenses have worked before in Chicago or in other Illinois courts. Here are some of those excuses that are the least likely to be believed by a judge:

The Beer Battered Fish Defense

Turn on any television cooking show and you’ll see chefs cooking food with wine as an ingredient. The reality is that the vast majority of alcohol is actually cooked off during the cooking process, leaving virtually none of the alcohol left to be ingested. The same is true for beer-battered fish and other beer-battered foods such as onion rings. In such cases, even less (if any) of the alcohol is left after deep frying. So, is it possible that some alcohol might remain? Yes. Is it possible for enough to be present to make a diner intoxicated though? Highly unlikely. You might need to eat 50 pounds of beer-battered onion rings to catch the slightest buzz and if you did that, you’d of course have a completely different problem.

The Mouthwash Defense

This defense has been around so long that we suspect people riding on horses were using it before cars were even invented! So, if you’re really curious about what your judge might look like when his/her eyes roll back into his/her head, bring up this well-worn excuse. The premise of this defense is that the defendant had rinsed with mouthwash near in time to the arrest and that the high alcohol content of the mouthwash skewed the results of the breath-test. In theory, this could in fact be true and there have been cases where someone accused of a DUI did in fact win their cases with this theory. But the main problem however is that the judge or jury actually has to believe that the defendant used mouthwash, as it’s of course quite easy for anyone to just say that they did. Statistics indicate that a full 40% of the population have never even used mouthwash and only about 25% use it on a daily basis. Of those that use the product, how many use it throughout the day (or especially in the evening or late night hours when most DUIs happen), rather than just once in the morning? As they say, tell it to the judge.

The Designated Driver Defense

It’s always admirable when one friend agrees to be the designated driver for a group of people having a party or hitting the bars. That is, as long as the designated driver remains sober and doesn’t drink. Unfortunately, sometimes the temptation of a few drinks is just too much for some and they figure that they’ll just have a couple. But one beer leads to two and two leads to six. Then having volunteered for designated driver duty, they feel like they can’t let the others down and they drive home anyway. When pulled over, they try to explain to the police officer that the other passengers were more intoxicated than they were and that really, they were performing a service for the community. As one might expect, this is a defense that neither police nor judges are likely to ever accept.

Hire an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney

Although the DUI defenses explained above are unlikely to be save the day in court, there are many other defenses that may help a person charged with DUI obtain a successful result. But as every case is different, it’s important to hire a knowledgeable DUI lawyer. Since 1990, Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC has been successfully defending those charged with such offenses. They can be reached at (312) 644-0444 or contacted online 24 hours a day.

This blog is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on specific legal questions.

Written by Mitchell S. Sexner Last Updated : January 13, 2023