What are affirmative drunk driving defenses?

Drunk driving is certainly dangerous, but contrary to popular belief, it is not always the worst option. As surprising as this may sound, there are actually some instances in which a person facing drunk driving charges might successfully argue that he or she was justified in driving under the influence.

One such example might be if a person is intoxicated but also faces some greater threat. If, for instance, a woman is on a date and has several drinks at a man's home. After becoming intoxicated, the woman realizes that the man poses a threat to her safety, she may choose to drive while intoxicated to escape the clear and present threat the man presents.

Similarly, in some instances, if a person were to witness an accident while intoxicated and chose to drive for help, this might qualify as impaired driving because of necessity. If you and your friend are drinking beers and fishing, and then your friend suffers an injury on the boat, you might argue successfully that the need of the moment justified your choice to drive.

In some other cases, it may be possible to argue that you were not voluntarily intoxicated. This might apply to a person who accidentally drank something he or she did not realize was alcoholic or were otherwise coerced into consuming a substance that impaired him or her.

These types of defenses are used very rarely, and even when they are used, they are not always successful. If you believe that you may have reasonable cause to use one of these affirmative defenses, an experienced attorney can help protect your rights and future freedoms.

Source: Findlaw, "Defenses to Drunk Driving," accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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