We recently published a trial notebook for DUI defense attorneys. The full book is available for purchase here, but here is a section to give you an idea of what the book is like and provide a free resource for trial lawyers.
Sample DUI Voir Dire Questions
Do you believe in an arbitrary number of drinks that means no driving whatsoever?
Do you realize that it is not against the law to drink and drive?
Also, how do you feel about this law?
Will my client’s admission that they drank and drove lead you to believe in their guilt of the crime charged?
Do you think that my client should get punished even if they drove drunk, but did not drive while intoxicated?
Do you realize that you must make your decision based on whether the facts prove my client’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt? Also, you will get certain opinions by the police officer, by the state’s chemical expert, and in a sense by the breath testing machine. In addition, are you willing to look beyond those opinions, to examine the facts which allegedly support those opinions, and require that the facts prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, before voting for a guilty verdict?
Have you ever heard of a Dräger9510?
Also, do you have any understanding of how the machine works? (Note: Always use the word “machine” rather than “instrument” – jurors knows about machines and how they can malfunction. “Instrument” sounds more scientific. See Tarantino, “Words that Condition the Jury’s Perceptions,” 5 DWI JOURNAL: LAW & SCIENCE 11 (November 1990); Tarantino, “Bad Habits Can Sabotage Your Communication With Jurors,” 6 DWI JOURNAL: LAW AND SCIENCE 7 (July 1991).
Do you have any preconceived ideas that the breathalyzer test is scientific and accurate?
Will you allow the chemical test result to substitute for your own opinion based upon the facts you hear in this case
Do you believe that the test result ought to get accepted because it is scientific and accurate?
Regardless of the machine’s test reading, will you still presume my client innocent until proven guilty?
Do you believe that a police officer has probable cause to arrest someone for driving under the influence merely because the person had the odor of an alcoholic beverage on their breath and was driving a car?
Have you had any friends, relatives, or acquaintances arrested for DWI?
What about field tests? Know anyone pulled over and not arrested?
Have you had any friends, relatives, or acquaintances who were hurt or had their property damaged by a drunk driver?
Would you be offended if the arresting officer were vigorously cross examined?
Do you feel that a person who drinks alcohol and then drives a car has violated the law, regardless of the effect the alcohol had on them?
If you were to vote “not guilty,” would you think that your verdict was a criticism and an indictment of the arresting officers?
Have you ever challenged or wanted to challenge a traffic citation?
Do you believe that alcohol affects different people in different ways?
Do you realize that in order for my client to be found guilty they must have had a sufficient amount to drink to cause them to be under the influence to an extent that it rendered them incapable of safely operating their motor vehicle?
What do you understand the term “tolerance to alcohol” to mean?
Experience with community groups? MADD?
If you were to have an operation, would you require a second medical opinion?
Do you realize that the breathalyzer (or Dräger9510) takes only one test or renders only one opinion, even though it has the ability to run a second test?
Have you (or someone you have talked to) ever “talked” their way out of a ticket?
Do you have any problem with people trying to do that?
If given the opportunity to try to talk your way out of a ticket – would you do so?
On a scale of 1 to 10, would you say you are pro defense or pro prosecution?
Play sports – hit the ball the first time you tried? Got easier the more you did it?
Does exhaustion affect your coordination?