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But I didn't know the punch was spiked....

Question: I think I want to use as my DUI defense that I didn't know that I had any alcohol. I thought I was drinking fruit and soda punch and eating some gummy bears. I was at a party with some friends in Sandy Springs and I just thought I was drinking the non-alcoholic punch. And to eat I had gummy bears that someone later told me were soaked in booze.

So I wasn't trying to get buzzed but that's what happened. My plan was to stay sober for the whole night. I was getting together with some buddies from Georgia State University, where I went to college, and from Emory University, where I went to graduate school.

After the party I drove home to my house in Woodstock and I got stropped by a cop. I thought I was just tired and feeling a little out of it and I told the cop that I hadn't been drinking. But I took the tests on the side of the road and then the cop arrested me. At the jail I took a breathalyzer test and I got a .129. But I don't want to get a DUI.

I'm trying to think of a good defense for my case.

S.M. in Woodstock, GA

Answer: The defense of not knowing what you drank or ate is unlikely to work with a DUI charge. Since a DUI charge does not require your intent to be intoxicated for a conviction, the fact that you did not intend to get drunk is of little legal value. What matters is that you were intoxicated, as represented by your high breathalyzer test.

We get questions like this frequently. Sometimes people really don't know how drunk they ae or that something that they ate or drank even contained alcohol.

While a long-shot defense, it sometimes can prevail. To win with it, you need a very understanding prosecutor and a rather breath test score. And it certainly helps if you were not involved in an accident.

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