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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Too Drunk to Know You're Drunk

English: A photograph of the the New York Stat...
Every year drunk driving impacts thousands of lives in the United States, anything from severe fines and loss of license to fatal crashes. What if some drunk drivers are too drunk to know they are doing something wrong? That is the question that New York’s Supreme Court is facing this week.

The justices heard arguments from lawyers of three drivers who claimed they were too drunk to understand the impact of their actions. The court will have to decide whether drivers can be too drunk to be found guilty.

In all three cases can being contested, the jury initially convicted the drivers of second-degree murder, after prosecutors successfully argued they had shown a “depraved indifference to human life,” The New York Times reports.

Several judges appeared reluctant to create a defense of extreme drunkenness for drivers who caused severe accidents, the article notes. 


In 2006, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that depraved indifference is a state of mind, whereby prosecutors had to prove a defendant consciously and willingly showed “an utter disregard for the value of human life,” if they wanted to prove second-degree homicides, particularly in cases pertaining to drunk driving.

A decision on the cases is expected next month.
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