The morning after the night before can even more traumatic when you wake up and realize you’ve been charged with impaired driving. Without the haze of alcohol to blur your thoughts, you quickly realize that everything in your life could easily be affected by the drunk driving charge you’ve just received. That’s when some people search for an alternate explanation for making such a poor choice.
One case in Manitoba shows just what can happen when you try a novel defense to try to beat a drunk driving charge. Back in February of 2015, a woman was stopped by police after she was found on the side of the road in Manitoba. A former school principal, she smelt of alcohol, was unsteady on her feet, and had bloodshot eyes: all indicators to the RCMP that the person behind the wheel could be intoxicated.
Refusing the breathalyzer, she was charged with impaired driving and given a court date. Several months later, when she made her appearance, she explained to the judge that she wasn’t drunk: she was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at the time of arrest.
The offender had been to a funeral that day, and although she had admitted to the police she had been drinking, she brought in a psychologist who testified that she was possibly having a dis-associative panic attack at the time of arrest. That panic attack could have mimicked the indicators someone would display if they were drunk driving.
The only problem? The judge in this case wasn’t buying that defense. Given the evidence supplied by the police that included her admitting she had drank alcohol that day, he believed she was rightfully charged with impaired driving and convicted her.
PTSD is a serious issue for many people, but in this case the judge didn’t believe it was the reason why the offender was acting as she did at the time of arrest. She’ll now be sentenced for her drunk driving charge, and maybe in the future she’ll think twice about drinking before she gets behind the wheel.