In the handling of drunk or impaired driving cases, there are certain DUI defenses that may (and in some instances, must) be raised prior to trial. In the raising of these defenses and in preparing a case for trial, defense counsel is normally permitted to file and be heard on any of several DUI pretrial motions. The permitted pretrial practice varies somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and the local rules should be checked in this regard. In most jurisdictions certain DUI pretrial motions are expressly provided for in the local rules, while others are permitted by custom or practice, provided that they are not prohibited by the local rules. If used judiciously, pretrial motions and practices can be of assistance to both the parties and the court by reducing and simplifying the issues to be resolved at trial and by preventing injustices caused by surprise or concealed evidence. If abused or used as a tactic of delay, however, pretrial motions can be wasteful for the court, the parties, and the witnesses.
In most jurisdictions the following DUI pretrial motions may be filed and heard in DUI-DWI cases:
(1) motions related to discovery,
(2) motions to suppress evidence,
(3) motions to strike,
(4) motions to dismiss,
(5) motions in limine, and
(6) miscellaneous motions required by the circumstances of a case.