Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that it was proper to suspend the license of a woman who drove drunk, even though she was fleeing her abusive husband at the time.
On Wednesday, May 21, the court announced that it had split 4-3, with several “sharply worded dissents,” on the issue, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The 39-year-old woman at the center of this case was in the act of being abused by her husband when she got into her car and drove away. She told law enforcement officers that her husband and taken her cellphone and that she had originally only taken refuge in the car; she said she drove off only after her husband broke the windshield and jumped on the vehicle. In other words, her argument was that driving away was her only means of escape and self-preservation.
The woman had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.16 when she was pulled over a mile or so later. She was initially charged with a DWI, which was later bargained down to a charge of careless driving and a six-month license suspension.
As a criminal defense attorney who often works with Twin Cities residents who have been charged with DWI, I found this story very interesting. We all know it is not okay to drive drunk, of course, but if anyone ever had an excuse to do so, it would seem to be this woman.
What do you think? Do you think the Supreme Court was right to take such a strict stance, or do you think this is unnecessarily rigid?
If you ever get into trouble after drinking and driving, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney. Please feel free to reach out to Grostyan & Associates, PLC.