Many of our clients who are charged with DUIs are certain they do not know how they became so intoxicated. Many do not know how they have such a high blood alcohol level, and many often claim that someone gave them a date rape drug or the like.
The concern many have is if this is a valid defense against being intoxicated. The general requirement for most criminal charges is the element of Mens Rea. Mens Rea means that there was a mental component to the crime and the person who is being charged knowingly committed the crime. In cases of involuntary intoxication, the person does not know they are committing the crime.
The answer to the inquiry is not as simple as one would like. It involves a lot of subjective area, and above all, concrete evidence. The obstacle most commonly found in an involuntary intoxication defense is solid proof that the person did not know they were intoxicated.
Lets say that Danielle goes out with her friends one night and has a drink at the bar that a guy bought for her. The last memory she has is taking the drink and then being arrested on the corner of the street. She claims that she has been giving a date rape drug, because she had nothing more to drink than that one glass, and by itself that glass would not cause her to be as intoxicated as she was.
The problem with Danielle’s argument is that it will be difficult to prove. Unless she went and got tested specifically for the date rape drug in her blood system, she will not be able to prove that she was involuntarily intoxicated. If she had submitted herself for a drug test, or a blood alcohol test by having her blood drawn, then there may be a chance that a date rape drug could be detected and introduced into evidence.
Many people often claim adamantly that they had nothing more to drink than a glass of alcohol and there is no way they could have such a high blood alcohol content. Unfortunately, in many cases people do not realize how much they drank, and without proof the Court is very unlikely to take it into consideration.
When a person drinks a drink that brings them to the point of intoxication, they often forget how many drinks they consume. This makes it difficult to separate those that were actually given a drug thatscaused them to be intoxicated, and those that merely blanked out on the amount of drinks they consumed.
If you believe that you were involuntarily intoxicated, it may be a defense for your case. This type of defense is very difficult to argue but it is worth consulting a Los Angeles DUI Defense attorney to determine how strong of a defense it may be, and what other options you may have. An experienced attorney has dealt with many cases of involuntary intoxication and is familiar with the Judges and Prosecutors in Southern California. They will be the best person to ask about your case.