Sick Cat No Excuse For Man To Drive Drunk

drunk_driving_gulfTALLAHASSEE — After a Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy clocked him going 84 mph and veering across three lanes of traffic toward an Interstate 275 exit ramp, Christopher Brooks was arrested on a DUI charge.

But Brooks argued he had a legitimate reason: His friend’s cat was sick, and he was the only person available to take the pet to an all-night veterinary clinic.

A state appeals court Wednesday, however, swatted down Brooks’ attempt to use what is called a “defense of necessity.” The court said such a defense could be used, in certain circumstances, for people charged with driving under the influence — though those circumstances would involve people, not cats, being in danger of serious injuries.

“Although Mr. Brooks’ wish to obtain treatment for the ailing feline is understandable, the elements of the defense and the plain language of the jury instruction compel us to the conclusion that a claim of necessity is not available as a defense to a DUI charge in Florida when the asserted emergency involves the threat of harm to an animal instead of a person,’’ a three-judge panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled.

 

Source: TBO

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News Talk Florida Staff