It is illegal in Tennessee for someone to spike your drink, even if the substance itself is legal. For example, say you are older than 21 and drinking something nonalcoholic. Without your knowledge, a person pours vodka into your drink. Since you are of age, it is legal for you to drink the vodka, but the spiking would still be illegal under the adulteration statute. This is because a spiked drink can alter someone's mental state or otherwise hurt a person.
So, you were later charged with DUI, and you are at a loss to explain your apparently high BAC results. You remember some drinks that tasted funny and wonder if someone added alcohol. Is arguing that your drinks were spiked and you did not drive knowingly intoxicated a good DUI defense?
Depends on the situation
As with many things, there is no right or wrong answer. If you have a history of drinking or DUI charges, it may strain credibility to argue you did not know your drink had alcohol in it or that you were unable to identify why you were feeling strange. Generally, arguing spiked drinks may not be a good DUI defense because prosecutors might say that since you were feeling dizzy, woozy, intoxicated or otherwise out of sorts, you should have known better than to get behind the wheel.
Of course, there can be situations where this defense might seem like it could succeed. Perhaps you had never tasted that type of nonalcoholic drink before and are not a drinker, so you would have been hard-pressed to identify that it did not taste right. Maybe you attributed the feelings of dizziness to an illness that plagued you last week or to not eating.
If your attorney can show that someone spiked your drink, perhaps through witness testimonies or video footage, and you have a clean driving and drinking history, then he or she may consider an involuntary intoxication line of defense. But it must be stressed that this type of defense rarely succeeds.