We should always have control over the substances that we choose to put in our body. Bottles of alcohol in a store must display their alcoholic quantity, and food packaging should display nutritional information. When we get behind the wheel of a car, it is expected that we are aware of whether we are under the influence of alcohol or not.
If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol but you were not aware of being over the limit at the time, you should investigate the possible defenses at your disposal. If you consider yourself a responsible drinker who always avoids driving under the influence, you may have been a victim of involuntary intoxication. If you can prove this, you may be able to successfully use this as part of your defense.
What is an example of involuntary intoxication?
Perhaps you went to a bar and ordered singles, tracking the number of drinks that you had. In this situation, you may have concluded that you did not drink enough alcohol to be over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, and decided to drive home. However, if the bar served you doubles without your knowledge, you would have been unknowingly over the limit. Being unknowingly intoxicated due to circumstances beyond your control is known as involuntary intoxication, and it can sometimes be a successful DUI defense.
Can bars and restaurants be liable for serving too much alcohol?
If you can show that the bar or restaurant was negligent in the way that they served you, you may be able to take legal action against the premises owner. You should have proof that they served you incorrectly, and being able to show actual damages that occurred due to the negligence will help your case.
If an establishment knowingly served an intoxicated person who was driving, they may also be liable under dram shop laws in North Carolina.
Being charged with a DUI can heavily affect your independence because it is likely that you will lose your right to drive for a significant amount of time. It is important that you take the time to understand the law and build a compelling defense.