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Defense of Necessity in DUI Cases


Imagine that you attend a wedding, drink alcohol, and stay overnight in a hotel with no intention of driving. Then imagine that you get a call at 3:00am from your baby sitter saying that they can't take your kids behaviour and they are leaving. You have nobody else that you can call and you hear your kids screaming in the background. What do you do?

The above situation arose for a client of mine. He was already on probation for a DUI in Los Angeles yet he decided that his kids safety was his primary concern, so he decided to get in his car and drive home. Ofcourse, he was stopped by the police and arrested for DUI.

We presented a defense of necessity to the court. This involved showing to the Court that a reasonable person would have feared an immediate threat to the safety of his children and that by driving while impaired, he was not creating a danger greater than the one avoided. In addition, it was necessary to show to the Court that there was no reasonable alternative to driving himself. The case did not go to the jury as the judge made my client an offer which he did not want to turn down.

It should be noted that the defense of necessity in DUI cases is not available for the DMV hearing as it is a defense in criminal proceedings only.

If you feel that this defense may be applicable to your situation and you want further information about how to argue it, please call Los Angeles and Orange County DUI defense lawyers Gold & Witham for a free case analysis.