After a bad break-up, Dan drives to a local bar, where he begins drinking. He hasn’t planned in advance how he is going to get home. If he drinks too much to drive, he thinks, he will summon a ride on his smart phone. Dan is on his seventh drink in two hours when a man storms through the front door of the bar, waving an assault rifle and threatening to shoot up the place. Dan bolts for the nearest exit, jumps in his car, and drives away. Less than a half-mile away from the bar, Dan runs through a red light and is stopped by a law enforcement officer. Dan is subsequently charged with driving while impaired. At trial, he asks the judge to instruct the jury on the defense of necessity. Is Dan entitled to that instruction?
Several interesting stories have cropped up over the past week. 1. In Moore County, a woman who was convicted in district court of DWI and speeding was acquitted on trial de novo in Superior Court. The unusual aspect of the case is that she admitted both offenses, but asserted the defense of necessity. According to … Read more