The recent flooding in Elizabethtown almost claimed a number of victims, including a mother and her young daughter, after their vehicle was swept away while she tried to cross a flooded area. Fortunately, some members of the community saw the incident and called police, who were able to rescue the family. However, when firefighters arrived they noticed signs that the woman was intoxicated, further complicating the situation.
According to the authorities, the mother is now facing DUI charges and possibly endangerment charges as well. While this seems understandable on the surface, it warrants careful consideration. Much is still not known about why the mother chose to drive in her condition, and it unfair to assume that she was doing so recklessly.
While it is not a defense that gets used often, one viable reason to drive while intoxicated is to avoid a greater danger. If the woman was intoxicated at a location that was imminently threatened by the floodwaters, she may have chosen to drive away despite her drunken state because it was the best of several bad options. It is unfair to frame the incident as if her vehicle was caught in the flood because of her intoxication, since even a sober driver can succumb to floodwaters. It is possible that the location she fled was even more endangered by the flood.
If you receive drunk driving charges, remember that there are almost always ways to build a defense. Most circumstances are more complex than they seem at first, and with proper guidance from an experienced attorney, you can fight against unfair or charges or penalties to keep your future protected and your rights secure.
Source: WLKY.com, “Police: Drunk mother drives thru floodwaters, rescued along with daughter,” Lauren Adams, June 26, 2017