On Oct. 23, 2010, Christopher Brooks received his third DUI within a decade when he was apprehended by a Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy. Brooks definitely had the pedal to the metal; according to the Miami Herald, he was traveling at 84 mph and weaving through other vehicles as he made his way down the highway.
What makes Brooks’ case rather unique is that he claimed he had an absolutely perfect reason for managing the wheel while under the influence: his friend’s cat was extremely ill, and he was seeking medical care for the pet at an emergency veterinary center.
Mr. Brooks was so intent on his innocence that he defended his situation all the way to the 2nd District Court of Appeals. While on the stand, he certainly did not attempt to alter the assessment of his inebriation but was quite clear. To Brooks, since he was the only living human being that had the means to get the cat to a veterinarian, he should not be found guilty of DUI. His point of view was derived from what is coined as “defense of necessity,” which can be incorporated into a not-guilty plea for drink driving.
Unfortunately for Mr. Brooks, the court did not agree with his assessment of the situation. It claimed that his defense was invalid, because the law applies to people that are exposed to life-threatening injuries or illnesses and did not extend its coverage to animals.
The judges did not dispute the circumstances, as Brooks did have the pet’s owner and two other people along for the ride. Actually, the person who the animal belonged to begged the officer to let them go, so the cat could receive medical attention. Unfortunately, the cat died either during or shortly following the arrest.
The Lesson Learned About Drink Driving
Probably due to the unusual nature of this drink driving case, it did attract a size-able amount of media attention in Hillsborough County, where Mr. Brooks was operating his vehicle, and the surrounding areas. So, if your animal is ever ill, don’t get behind the wheel and practice drink driving, because you will not be protected from prosecution no matter how dire the pet’s condition.
For more information on Florida’s DUI laws or any questions pertaining to drink driving in the Fort Meyers area, please contact Michael M. Raheeb, P.C., at 866-949-0888 or visit Michael Raheb.com.