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Q: While vacationing & enjoying cocktails emergency occurred forcing me to drive. ( Answered,   7 Comments )
Subject: While vacationing & enjoying cocktails emergency occurred forcing me to drive.
Category: Reference, Education and News > Consumer Information
Asked by: leyla-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 29 Jun 2002 03:35 PDT
Expires: 29 Jul 2002 03:35 PDT
Question ID: 34826
I was forced to make a judgement to drive while under the influence of
alcohol. It was an emergency situation and I have complete
documentation which proves that we were in danger.  The local Sherrifs
would not send support after I called 911.  I had my disabled daughter
with me and had to drive out of the remote mountain area we were at,
staying at a cabin. My car got a flat tire as we were on our way to a
hotel.  A motorist called emergency road service an a tow truck was
arriving.  We were all about to leave when the CHP came along and
detected alcohol on my breath and I submitted to a breath test and
requested a blood tes.  My breath test was 9.9.....later, as the blood
alcohol rose, my blood test was 1.6......I had drank right before the
time of our emergency drive out of there.  I was detained for a period
of time with my disabled daughter instead of being allowed to go to a
hotel....but soon a Child protective social worker picked us up and we
spoke to her supervisor who immediatel understood why I had chosen to
drive at the time and she had us taken to the hotel as I had
originally planned.  They, as mothers understood that I drank because
I was supposed to be relaxing and on vacation but that I had not
carelessly chosen to drive but that it was due to judgement in an
emergency and I could not obtain help from local law enforcement when
I had originally called for help (911)  Unfortunately, one of the two
CHP officers was unable to understand my situation either.  His
partner had tried to call the seargent to have me released and in that
particular county, they always send information to DMV and perhaps to
the local court.  I need to know if a DMV hearing officer can make
his/her own judgement in a situation like this and allow a person to
keep their license...I have a clean record.  I am very concerned that
some may not see my side....the judgement I made was sound and I have
provide all documentation which supports my concern that night and why
I had chosen to drive............I had just purchased this cabin...I
chose to drive to a hotel to spend hard earned money to keep my
daughter and I safe.  Again, I have proof of the emergency.  What can
I do about this if the hearing officer decides to suspend my license. 
It would occur, also, right at the time of our planned move to that
county in 3 weeks and during an increased need to drive....for
moving....driving my daughter to her new school and therapies, and
hauling merchandise daily for our new business and livelihood in our
new community.  Please direct me to sites specifically addressing
non-suspension of license for those who had to drive in an emergency
while under the influence.  I hope this has been articulated well
enough and thank you for your help, which I do need very quickly. 

Request for Question Clarification by grimace-ga on 29 Jun 2002 04:09 PDT
Two questions:

Which state were you in?

What was the nature of the emergency which compelled you to drive to
the hotel? Was it a medical emergency? Were you attacked?

Clarification of Question by leyla-ga on 30 Jun 2002 22:59 PDT
Hi, yes, I am in California.....the emergency was repeated phone calls
and hang-up from a hostile caller and noise outside....there was a
resentful person who I believed could be dangerous to our daughter who
kept calling and not answering. I got documentation from the telephone
company.  My real estate agent told me that the son had been acting
strangely and went to an attorney to stop the sale...he was forced to
sell or pay full commission.  When I got the keys to the property and
went up for the first time, he had left entries to diaries prominently
for me to see.  He had also had a friend down the road apparently
connect the phone to my new cabin and was calling and hanging up to
scare me.  I also discovered the following day that the padlock I had
put on to the security gate had been cut off and taken.  Noises
outside and the repeated hang ups were meant to scare me and this all
did.  I had no defense there with my daughter.  I could not get law
enforcement to come up.  They cooperated later and gave me a copy of
my 911 call because they realized that I was compelled to leave on my
own and it had gotten me into this mess. (Usually a copy of 911 has to
be subpeonad) but they must have felt guilty about what happened and
that now I was to face a hearing with DMV.

Regarding my drinking that night....this was my first getaway in
ages...I work very hard in my business with little help...this was to
be a respite.  I do not think that having some cocktails on what at
first was a beautiful evening is wrong.   I made the choise to drink
because I would NOT be driving.  In fact, I avoid situations in life
and lecture any friends who choose to do this.  Losing my license is
not going to teach me any further lesson.  I would not have driven if
I did not think it was absolutely necessary at the time, in the middle
of the night...and to go and pay for a hotel when I had just gotten
the keys to this place.  I hope that this explains things better. 
Again, the realtor and the mother of the man who was resentful
confirmed his resentment and potential behavior.  My question an emergency...if one drives under duress and that is
what it was....should a person lose their license.  Help if you
can....and thank you all for your help and comments.
Subject: Re: While vacationing & enjoying cocktails emergency occurred forcing me to drive.
Answered By: mvguy-ga on 01 Jul 2002 08:07 PDT

You've posed an interesting question of law; it reminds me of the sort
of questions they ask in law school.  Of course, to you this is much
more than an academic question, so I will seek to give you the best
information I can.

First of all, let me advise you to get an attorney IMMEDIATELY.
California has a strict time limit on when you can raise legal issues
in license suspension cases, and missing the deadline could make the
suspension all but automatic. (Nearly always, the person charged needs
to take action within TEN DAYS to avoid license suspension.) Also, I'm
not an attorney and therefore not qualified to give legal advice; what
I can do is give you a personal opinion based on research as to what
issues could arise in such as case and how they might be resolved. You
should not make any decisions in this matter until you consult with an

What you're talking about in this case basically is asking whether in
your situation you could use what is known as a "necessity defense."
In other words, you're saying, "Yes, I did something that the law says
I shouldn't do, but it was a necessary action under the
circumstances."  Blatant examples of where a necessity defense might
be used is in the case of someone who forges a document at gunpoint or
of someone who breaks a window to escape from a burning building.

So we face two major issues here:
-- Whether the facts of the case fall under those where a necessity
defense might apply.
-- Whether a necessity defense can be raised in California in a
hearing regarding a suspension of a driving license for DUI.

Let's look first at necessity defense in general. Loosely put, the
necessity defense is the argument that the actions were necessary and
justifiable. In determining that, a court might look at these two
tests indicated in these sample jury instructions:

"It is a defense to the offense [charged] [included] that:1
"(1) the defendant reasonably believed the conduct was immediately
necessary to avoid imminent harm; and
"(2) the desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm clearly
according to ordinary standards of reasonableness, the harm sought to
be prevented by the law proscribing the conduct."

Source of sample jury instruction:
Street Law Cases and Resources
Defense: Necessity

In your case, I believe it would hard to show that your actions were
"immediately necessary" to avoid "imminent harm," as you were not
under immediate attack.  There was nobody physically attacking you,
and there were no explicit threats made.  If such a legal argument
were made, an attorney would probably say that a reasonable person
would have felt threatened under the circumstances and had no
alternative, but I believe you'd have an uphill argument to make.  In
may not be fair, but you may not have been entitled to drive away
intoxicated until you actually saw somebody ready to attack you.

If you were to win on that argument, the question could be whether the
risk you put people under by driving under the influence was less than
the harm you sought to prevent.  That's one of those judgment calls
that could go either way, but absent some evidence that your life was
in danger I believe you'd have an uphill fight again.  Driving under
the influence does put people in danger, and the emphasis place in our
society on DUI would suggest that the law wouldn't look kindly on any
but the most persuasive of explanations for that behavior.  It's also
not clear whether your life (or just you freedom from abuse) was in
danger; if you put people's lives at risk because you were justifiably
afraid of someone being mean to you, that may not be legal

One fact in your favor is that you did try to take alternative
measures (such calling 911), driving only when they were unsuccessful.

Various courts have used similar analyses in defining when the
necessity defense can be used.

One way of putting it is that "the necessity defense applies in
emergency situations were peril is imminent and the defendant has no
other option but to violate the law. State v. Johnson, 289 Minn. 196,
197, 183 N.W.2d 541, 543 (1971)."

Another court has provided a three-prong test for the necessity
defense (note the first provision):
"(1) the defendant is faced with a clear and imminent danger, not one
which is debatable or speculative; (2) the defendant can reasonably
expect that his action will be effective as the direct cause of
abating the danger; (3) there is no legal alternative which will be
effective in abating the danger . . . ."

Source: Commonwealth vs. Casey J. O'Kane
To summarize, the problem you would face on using a necessity defense
is that it does not appear you were in imminent danger; a lesser but
still significant legal problem is that by driving under the influence
you also put people in harm's way.  I believe it would be a very hard
defense to use successfully under the facts you have given.

But now the question is, even if the necessity defense can be validly
applied under these facts, is such a defense allowed under a license
suspension case in California?  Keep in mind that a license suspension
case is not a criminal proceeding; it is a civil proceeding. (There
also can be separate criminal proceedings for DUI.) In a license
suspension case, you do not have nearly the rights you would if you
were charged with a criminal offense.  The rules of evidence are
somewhat looser, and the standard of proof isn't nearly as high.  In
civil proceedings, a defendant has to do more than raise a reasonable
doubt; he or she generally has to show that the weight of the evidence
is on his or her side.  And in a license suspension, you don't even
have the right to a trial by jury.

In any case, as far as I've been able to find out, such a necessity
defense hasn't been successfully used to prevent suspension of a
license in California.  That doesn't mean it hasn't been done; it only
means that I have been unable to find such a case.  Nor is there any
express provision in the law for such a defense.  Again, you need to
talk to an attorney to see if such a defense can be considered.  But
as far as I've been able to find out, the issues that can be raised
when fighting a license suspension are pretty much limited to those
such as the accuracy of the alcohol test and whether proper procedures
were followed in the arrest and in administering the text.

Another reason you should see an attorney is because there may other
defenses available. When license suspensions are successfully fought,
they are generally over issues such as whether the alcohol test was
valid, or whether the officer had probable cause to pull the person
over.  There very well may be some facts that could give you a defense
less problematic than a necessity defense.

Here are some other resources you may find helpful. The first one
listed, in particular, does a good job of explaining what your rights
are and what you options are if your license is suspended.

California DUI News

Driver's License Suspensions

License Suspension

California's applicable statute

California DUI Defense Attorneys

Driving While Intoxicated

Google search strategy used: various combinations of words and phrases
such as "necessity defense," "dui," "legal defenses," "california" and
"drunk driving."

A final note: I apologize for my earlier comment. It was poorly worded
at best, rude an insensitive at worst.  What I was trying to say is
this: You face an uphill battle, and you need to have everything going
for you that you can.  It is possible that a hearings officer might
conclude from the facts given that you have a drinking problem; if
that happens, it could jeopardize your case.  I honestly don't know if
you have a drinking problem or not; what I do know is that if I had a
friend who was drinking enough to reach twice the legal limit for
drunken driving I would be concerned.  You (and perhaps your close
friends) are in the best position to determine if there's a problem. 
If there isn't problem, there's nothing wrong (in my opinion) with
responsible drinking and you have nothing to feel guilty or to be
defensive about; if there is a problem (and I'm not saying there is),
count your blessings that nobody got hurt.

I really do want what's best for you, and I hope you can resolve your
legal problem in a way that lets you take care of your family. Best
wishes, and PLEASE talk to an attorney immediately.


Clarification of Answer by mvguy-ga on 01 Jul 2002 10:45 PDT
This isn't particularly useful, but I have found mention of one case
that has similarities to yours.  In a Vermont case, a woman who said
she had driven under the influence to flee an assailant attempted to
use the necessity defense.  But because the court couldn't find there
was sufficient evidence that an assailant existed, it decided not to
reconsider earlier rulings that a necessity defense couldn't be used
in license suspension cases.

Source: Vermont Criminal Law Month

In Illinois there was an interesting criminal case in which a person
tried to use a necessity defense after he was arrested for drunken
driving.  But the facts are much, much different than yours.  In the
Illinois case, the driver had fallen asleep drunk at the wheel or his
parked car and hadn't actually driven; under the law, he was guilty
nevertheless because he was in physical control of the vehicle while
intoxicated.  (In other words, people sleeping it off in Illinois
should sit in a passenger seat, not a driver's seat.)  The defendant
raised a necessity defense on the grounds that it was necessary for
him to enter the car to sleep off the effects of alcohol, and that
this was safer than other alternatives.   The court rejected his
argument on a technicality without deciding whether that is a
legitimate use of the a necessity defense.

More to the point of your problem, I've found two more sources of
information that may be of help:

Driving Under the Influence -- California Laws

General Information Regarding California DUI Law

I'll let you know if I find anything else.

Best wishes,


Request for Answer Clarification by leyla-ga on 02 Jul 2002 20:17 PDT
Please read my latest comment...thanks...

Request for Answer Clarification by leyla-ga on 03 Jul 2002 03:47 PDT
Hi, thank you for your answer and please see my earlier and newest
I want to emphasize something.....Just before I left the cabin, is
when I drank my drinks...............when I drove, my alcohol level
most likely was not even up to the legal car
broke down later.....I sat for a long time with a helpful motorist
waiting for a tow truck, etc....all was well and we were about to
leave....this must have been at least 30-40 minutes after I left the
cabin.   Even more time past and my blood alcohol was rising ...the
gauge said 9.9.   This was at least an hour after I least.
I asked for a blood test and it ended up to be 1.6.....this was two
hours or more after I left the cabin.   An attorney gave me free
advise about this over the phone....he said....when I was actually
driving and before my car broke down with its flat tire, that my bac
was most likely below the legal limit.  This is what is irking me more
that ever.....that the hearing officer can't put two and two
together....i.e., all the facts and my reasons for driving and the
conclusion that anyone would make about the bac.   Now what do I
do....I waived my right to counsel at my hearing because I had so much
compelling evidence. What can I do now that I know that this man did
not really understand my case. Again, I think that English is his
second or third language.   A technician yein his office
said......maybe there was a language barrier. Now what?

Clarification of Answer by mvguy-ga on 03 Jul 2002 07:06 PDT
Hello again,

First of all, let me give you a more complete answer to your original
question, something I didn't have complete information about before
but do now.  And that is that with regard to your license suspension,
the reasons for your decision to drive are legally irrelevant.  That
may not be fair, it may not be right, but that's the law.

Here's a link to an explanation by the California Department of Motor
Vehicles about what is legally relevant with regard to the hearing
about your license suspension:

State of California DMV

The following explanation by a California attorney also indicates that
the issues you raise are irrelevant in the administrative proceeding:

Robert M. Wilson, Attorney at Law

As an aside, it sounds like this defense attorney agrees with you on
the lack of justice you may receive at this level:

"Many DSO Hearing Officers do not fully understand the law as it
relates to driver’s license suspension, or are afraid to rule in favor
of a Licensee as they see it as their job to support the Department of
Motor Vehicles. ...

"These hearings are very technical, and the chances of a person
winning without legal help is slim. DMV does not care if you need to
drive for work or school purposes."

Again, it may not be fair, but a hearing to consider the suspension of
your license isn't a criminal trial, and you don't have all the rights
you would have if it were a criminal case.   The only real issues at
this point are whether your arrest was legal (you haven't said
anything to indicate otherwise, and if the officer smelled alcohol on
your breath and followed proper procedures it probably was) and
whether the alcohol tests given you were accurate.  That explains why
all the cases I was able to find on this matter related to those
issues; other factors are irrelevant in this process.  Again, it may
not be fair, but that's the law.  (If you're also facing prosecution
under the criminal law, you'll have more rights in that process.)

To summarize, even if you were justified in driving under the
influence, it's irrelevant in the administrative hearing to suspend
your license.  It may be relevant if there is any subsequent criminal
action against you.

With all due respect, I believe you may have made the wrong decision
in not having an attorney at your hearing.  I realize that $5,000 is a
lot of money, and that's more money than I would have to fight a
license suspension, so your decision is understandable, and I can't
say I wouldn't have done the same thing.  But you're facing issues now
that are beyond the ability of the typical non-lawyer to handle. 
There are good reasons (and not just selfish ones on the lawyer's
part) why the attorney who talked to you said you should have

Back to your clarification request:  What you want to know is what do
you do now that your DMV hearing didn't go well.  That's beyond the
scope of the original question, but I'll give you the best answer I
can.  Here's what attorney Robert M. Wilson says on his site:

"Following the hearing, you have the right to be provided a decision
in writing. Should the decision resulting from the hearing be against
you, you have the right to request the department to conduct an
administrative review of the decision, as well as the right to appeal
the decision to superior court.

"Requests for the administrative review or to appeal the decision in
court must be made within a certain time period dependent on the type
of hearing and as described in the Vehicle Code. These time periods
and other specific information concerning your rights will be stated
on the notice containing the hearing decision."

Source: Robert M. Wilson

In other words, you should have received a written notice if the DMV
decision went against you.  (If you didn't get one, call the DMV and
ask for one!)  That notice should indicate what deadlines you have to
meet in order to file an appeal.  You can either appeal to the DMV or
you can go to Superior Court to have the DMV decision overturned.

Chances are (you'll need to talk to an attorney to make sure) that in
such an appeal you won't be able to make arguments about why you were
justified in driving under the influence.  The appeal would be only to
decide whether the DMV acted properly in suspending your license.

If you can make a good case that the hearings officer didn't
understand the language, that would certainly be valid grounds for
appeal. A good attorney could probably come up with other reasons to
pursue an appeal.

If you want to file an appeal, YOU SHOULD HIRE AN ATTORNEY
IMMEDIATELY.  I can't overemphasize that.  I'm sure you're an
intelligent person and do many things well, but you're facing a
situation that is almost certainly beyond your abilities.  To be blunt
about it, I personally believe you have zero chance of keeping your
license if you don't hire an attorney (and you face an uphill fight
even if you do).

There are also some circumstances where you could have your driving
privileges restored with certain restrictions under a hardship
provision of the law.  An attorney also could advise you whether that
would be possible in your case.

You're facing an immensely difficult situation, and you can't handle
it alone.  I wish you the best.



Clarification of Answer by mvguy-ga on 03 Jul 2002 07:38 PDT
Another clarification:

I didn't address the question you raised about the fact that your
blood-alcohol level was rising.  It appears that you have a much
stronger argument to make with that approach than with the necessity

The law says that the DMV is to determine whether your blood alcohol
was above the limit while you were driving (not when the test was
taken, but when you were driving).  Because you have evidence that the
alcohol level was indeed rising, you could probably argue that indeed
it was below the limit while you were behind the wheel.  In fact,
looking at the numbers you gave, I wouldn't be surprised if that were
the case.  An attorney who specializes in DUI cases could give you a
better idea of how well this defense would work.  Ironically, the fact
that the blood test showed such a high alcohol level MIGHT work in
your favor.

Hopefully, you raised that issue in your recent hearing (it is
sometimes difficult to raise new issues on appeal).  Again, you should
have an attorney if you plan to make that argument (known as the
"rising-BAD defense") in your appeal.

Here are some sites I found that address the "rising BAC" issue.

What Is a Rising BAC Defense?

Municipal FAQs

California DUI/DWI Information

The Law Offices of Lawrence Taylor Inc.

The Most Frequently Asked Questions

Google search term used: "rising BAC" california

Again, you should talk about this possible defense with an attorney.

Best wishes,


Request for Answer Clarification by leyla-ga on 03 Jul 2002 23:31 PDT
hi, please see my last comment...and thanks for your on-going assistance!

Clarification of Answer by mvguy-ga on 04 Jul 2002 06:30 PDT
I don't know what your financial situation is, but you're entitled to
a public defender only if you can't afford an attorney.  If you have
the resources, in my opinion you'd be best off with an attorney who
specializes in DUI cases.  (If you're in a populated area, there may
be public defenders who specialize in DUI cases as well.)  Most
importantly, because of the unusual facts behind your case, you need
someone who won't treat this as a routine matter.  You have an uphill
fight at best.

A good attorney will explain to you all the options you have and what
those options will cost you.  The attorney likely will give you a
recommendation -- it could be fighting the charges, it could mean
pleading guilty as charged, it could be some sort of plea bargain. 
But ultimately the decision about how to proceed will be up to you
(limited, perhaps, by the financial resources available).

If you have any good friends who can be objective with you, I suggest
you talk to them to help you reduce your stress and get an honest
perspective on what is happening. One person shouldn't have to face
alone what you're facing!

Best wishes,

Subject: Re: While vacationing & enjoying cocktails emergency occurred forcing me to driv
From: colin-ga on 29 Jun 2002 05:20 PDT

Looks like California.

She mentions CHP, which I assume to be the California Highway Patrol.

Subject: Re: While vacationing & enjoying cocktails emergency occurred forcing me to drive.
From: mvguy-ga on 29 Jun 2002 06:11 PDT
This is going to sound judgmental and harsh, but I'm going to say it
anyway: Anyone who drinks enough to get a blood alcohol level of 0.16
percent has a drinking problem, period.  You're not going to get much
sympathy from a judge or administrative officer anywhere unless you're
doing something about the drinking problem.

As to the legal issue, which is an interesting one, I'd guess (and
this is just an educated guess) that the emergency (I assume you were
under physical threat) might be a defense in a criminal case.  But in
many states license suspensions are a civil matter, not a criminal
one, so justification for the behavior may not be an issue.  You
really need to talk to an attorney on this one.
Subject: Re: While vacationing & enjoying cocktails emergency occurred forcing me to drive.
From: gini-ga on 29 Jun 2002 10:27 PDT
Assuming that you are in California, there appears nothing in the law
that states what exceptions might be acceptable, but an appeal to the
DMV must be made within 10 days.  If you have appealed, the "Notice of
Suspension" which is also a 30 day temporary license is extended until
the time the appeal is ruled on.

This same site also has links leading to a lot of DWI issues - and to
a lot of lawyers who handle these cases!.

There doesn't seem to be anything in the law itself that addresses
emergency situations.

However, the fact that an appeal process exists would seem to indicate
that you might be able to make your case .
If your appeal fails, its not too terrible - a first time DWI
conviction is a 4 months suspension, which while a major hassle isn't
the end of the world.

Good luck on your appeal
Subject: Re: While vacationing & enjoying cocktails emergency occurred forcing me to drive.
From: acorn-ga on 30 Jun 2002 20:55 PDT
As an aside, to respond to mvguy-ga's admittedly "judgmental and
harsh" pronouncement that someone who has a 0.16 blood alcohol level
has a drinking problem...that's pure nonsense.  BAL is based on
weight, sex, number of drinks in an hour and their alcohol content.  A
200 pound man and a 100 pound woman could both have 3 identical drinks
in an hour.  The man would have a .07 BAL and be legally under the
driving limit.  The woman would have a 0.16 BAL and be legally drunk. 
Where in any of that says the woman has a drinking problem???  Too
much to drink?  OK.  Drinking problem?  Not with just that
information.  And, no, having 3 drinks in an hour doesn't indicate a
drinking problem could be a once in a lifetime event :-)

At the same time, since we don't know the nature of the questioner's
emergency, just that the Sheriff's office supposedly didn't find it an
emergency nor did at least one of the officers, perhaps that 0.16 BAL
*did* cause impaired judgement - not just as a driver, but as it
related to a situation about which we have no information.  I can't
imagine what documentation the questioner says she has to prove they
were in danger that meant they suddenly had to leave, but that
certainly doesn't mean it doesn't exist or that they weren't.

As a result, I agree with mvguy-ga's other comment...get a lawyer!
Subject: Re: While vacationing & enjoying cocktails emergency occurred forcing me to drive.
From: leyla-ga on 30 Jun 2002 23:41 PDT
Hi, I have one more thing to say about the drinking.  I have studied
substance and alcohol abuse in my past as I was at one time going to
be a counselor.  There are many factors which would point to a
drinking problem.  Having drinks while out for an evening or on a
vacation, usually puts most people above the legal limit for driving. 
Having these drinks does not point to a drinking problem.  There are
some people who shouldn't drink and there are some who are responsible
about it.  Even having a bottle of wine with dinner for two can put
some above the legal limit.  I am just curious about the harsh comment
about this and where that person got their information to make such a
Subject: Re: While vacationing & enjoying cocktails emergency occurred forcing me to drive.
From: leyla-ga on 02 Jul 2002 19:54 PDT
Hi, the latest is that the hearing I had....which I did not mention
earlier did not turn out in my favor...........unfortunately there
must have been a language barrier..........the gentleman's second or
third language is English and I feel robbed, angry and ready to fight
this.   I received an ANSWER but it is not satisfactory.....maybe seems like....anyone in my shoes would have chosen
to drive when I did.  An important piece of info is that my blood
alcohol when I was driving was barely over the legal limit.  Later, it
was higher at the hospital because I had requested a blood test...this
was well over an hour or so later...meaning......I was below the
original legal limit of 1.0.   Another fact.....I was not in a
wreck...I simply had a flat tire.....and was about to leave
.....everything was taken care of...tow truck on its way....a ride
arranged.....etc......It was only by chance that the chp came
along....I conversed with them very readily and at first was very
happy to see them.   It was only when he detected the alcohol in my
conversation that things went the way they did.    I feel very angry
about all of this and want to get an attorney.  Originally, I
consulted with one on the telephone and he matter how sound
your case and presentation is....DON'T go to a hearing without an
attorney....but we will charge you$5,000.00...........this was an
outrageous fee for what I felt was a no-grainer.    A person forced to
drive when not wanting to.  What is wrong with this picture.    It is
scary that something like this can be judged by one human being who
probably didn't even understand what I was saying....3rd languaged and
well payed hearing officer....give me a break!!
Subject: Re: While vacationing & enjoying cocktails emergency occurred forcing me to drive.
From: leyla-ga on 03 Jul 2002 23:20 PDT
Thank you for your recent update. My heart dropped tonight when I got
home from work and opened my mail.  Now, I must face the District
Attorney and court about all of, I now must obtain an
attorney.  The worst thing now is that he has added a third charge of
"willfully endangering my daughter and negligently had no regard and
caused her great stress and endangerment."
He is recommending my arrest!!!!!  The facts aren't even known by him.
 This is all a very bad dream but it is real!

This is turning into the worst nighmare ever!  My daughter is 17 but
autistic. I have given her the best care all her life and so many
people tell me that I am an inspiration to them in my love and
patience with her.  I am always called for advise from others with
disabled kids.

Now, I who lecture those who drink and drive and who loves her
daughter dearly, am facing this.  My stress level is quite high now. 
My daughter thought the whold night was a fun adventure and a break
from the grind of everyday life back home.  You should see the harsh
wording the D.A. used in this area!  Any more comments would be
appreciated.  Now, I have to find a great attorney and pay my hard
earned money as a single feels so wrong.

Can a public defender do just as well for us....or should I get
someone who specializes in DUI cases?

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