Why am I being charged with a DUI if the breathalyzer and blood rests were clean?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Why am I being charged with a DUI if the breathalyzer and blood rests were clean?

I suffer from severe insomnia and often sleep walk. I do not remember what happened other than

what the police told me. I got in my car and drove 2 blocks away from my house, parked the car and continued to sleep, then the police showed up and made me do a field sobriety test which came out

as zero, the officer then handcuffed me and told me I was under arrest for DUI. The officer gave me 2 more breathalyzer tests and blood work and everything came up clean, yet he is still charging me with the DUI. What am I supposed to do to fight this charge?

Asked on February 7, 2017 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You're being charged because DUI, or driving under the influence, means driving under the effect or influence of any substance that impairs reflexes or cognition and causes a driving hazard; there are medicines, intoxicants, etc. that might not show up in the standard screens. You are being charged due to your behavior, which showed you driving in an impaired state; your behavior suggested intoxication of some sort, even if they did not then find the substance. Being charged does not necessarily mean you'll be convicted, since to convict you, they'd have to have evidence "beyond a reasonable doubt" that you were under the influence of some substance. 
While having an attorney would clearly be beneficial, you can act as your own attorney if you can't afford or don't want one. What would be helpful in fighting the charge would be support or corroboration for the insomnia or sleepwalking. Do you have a diagnosis from a doctor? Do you have family or a significant other who could come with you and testify to the sleepwalking? Etc. Not only must the government show you were under the influence of something, but it helps if you can substantiate your alternate explanation.
Make sure you show up on time for court--you don't want to have bench warrant for your arrest put out for non-appearance.
Be open to a plea bargain in which the DUI is dismissed and you instead plead to some unsafe driving charge--not only is that much better than a DUI, but if you were driving while asleep, you were driving in an unsafe manner, so it is reasonable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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