There is no doubt that drunk driving is a societal problem, and there’s also no doubt that deaths do occur at the hands of drunk drivers. But, wrongful convictions are also problematic, and are themselves a symptom of an equally insidious societal problem. Wrongful convictions usually won’t happen provided the drunk driving trial is a fair one. The question posited here however is whether or not it is even possible to have a fair trial in a drunk driving case?
Many defense attorneys believe that the essential problem is that jurors come into the court room predisposed to convict. They come into the court room predisposed to believe the state witnesses including the police and predisposed to believe the breath or blood evidence.
One way to combat this bias is to educate the jury during the trial. Help them understand that they are really there to help protect the Constitutional rights of the accused. This is their job, NOT to help the state gain a conviction. This is what the presumption of innocence, burden of proof and reasonable doubt are all about. For these reasons jurors should stand in the way of a conviction not facilitate the state in obtaining one.
Here is a videotape of Patrick T. Barone discussing these issues: