It’s important to know that drinking and driving is against the law, but what about situations in which you can’t avoid getting behind the wheel? There are times when you may feel good enough to drive and face an emergency, such as deciding to rush someone to the hospital or do what you have to in the specific circumstances.
While it’s illegal to have a BAC of .08 percent or higher and drive, there could be circumstances under which you could defend your choice to drive. Here are a few situations that might help you get out of a DUI charge.
1. Seeking emergency help
In a situation where it’s impossible to call 911 or get emergency care to come to you, you might have no other option than to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. For instance, if you’ve been drinking in a rural area, it might actually take longer for emergency care to reach you than for you to drive someone to the hospital. In that case, it might be in your best interest to drive, even though it’s against the law when drunk.
2. Being forced to drive
There are times when people are forced to drive, like if they’re assaulted or robbed. The person who wants you to drive might hold you at gunpoint or threaten the people you love. In any case, if you were forced to drive while intoxicated, then that’s a fairly solid defense for your DUI case.
In evacuation situations, you might have no other option than to drive. It might be due to a sudden emergency, like a toxic spill or volcanic eruption, an earthquake or other issue. In those instances, it’s best if you can get another person to drive or give you a ride, but if you can’t, then there is no other choice than to drive. That is something a judge would consider if you ended up with a DUI.
After a DUI, you’ll have a preliminary hearing before the judge. This is considered to be a trial before the real trial, where a judge listens to the facts and decides if you’re guilty. Keep in mind that most DUI cases don’t reach this point, because most suspects plead guilty. If you do not, you can expect to head to a preliminary hearing where you can explain your actions and work on a defense to your DUI case.