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Can you drive drunk in an emergency?

Everyone has seen the unusual cases where someone had to drive when they shouldn't. For example, a person who was intoxicated might have to drive to get an injured friend to a hospital or to get themselves there due to an injury.

The reality is that drinking and driving can result in charges no matter when you do it. Yes, you may have a case of duress if you can prove that you had no other choice but to drive, but unless you can show that there were really no other options, that defense may be weak.

Instead of driving while intoxicated and risking a DWI charge, it's better for you to look into alternative ways to travel. There are now ride-share services and taxis in nearly every town and city. In a real emergency, you can call 911 and wait for an ambulance, too. Rarely would there be a time that you could drive while in an emergency and use it as a defense.

Not being able to defend yourself based on an "emergency" doesn't mean that you don't have other possible defenses for your actions. It also doesn't mean that you won't win your case or that your attorney won't be able to have the penalties reduced significantly.

Remember, a defense is designed for your specific situation, so be clear about what happened and let your attorney work out the best defensive options. Our website has more on DWIs and what you can do if you want to avoid them, fight charges filed against you or defend against multiple charges.

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