fancy holiday drinks by christmas tree

Can You Get a DUI If You Didn’t Know You Were Drinking Alcohol?

It sounds absurd, but it does happen– especially at this time of year with so many holiday cocktails being offered and served. If you think you’re drinking eggnog or warm apple cider, later to find out they contained alcohol, what can happen? Our team at Melowski & Singh, LLC explains whether or not you’re subject to criminal charges for accidental DUI.

Involuntary Intoxication Defense

Technically, you can be charged with DUI even if you didn’t know you were intoxicated. However, this is a key detail that can be used for your defense. The involuntary intoxication defense explains that the driver was unaware they were under the influence and therefore did not intentionally violate the law. In legal terms, the driver did not possess mens rea, or criminal intent. Ultimately, the goal is to prove that the defendant had no intent to drive drunk, made an innocent mistake, and should not be held responsible and subject to penalties.

This defense may work in cases when the driver:

  • Believed they were drinking non-alcoholic drinks
  • Took legal medication before driving
  • Had their drink spiked

Even if this is the best defense for your case, it can be complicated to pull off. Involuntary intoxication DUI is a rare occurrence, and you need an experienced DUI defense attorney by your side to help argue for your innocence.

It’s important to note that if you consumed alcohol but did not think it was enough to make you impaired, this is not covered by the involuntary intoxication defense. If you intentionally drank any amount of alcohol before driving, you could be held criminally responsible.

Holiday DUI Defense in Wisconsin

The holidays are a peak time for DUI arrests. If you are arrested and charged with this offense, contact our attorneys at Melowski & Singh, LLC. We focus our practice on DUI defense, making us the best choice to handle your complicated and unique case. Share the details of your charges with our team today; call us at (920) 294-1414.