Date Rape Drug Cause For Woman’s DUI?

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ghbLeigh Paffhausen, a woman in Missoula, Montana was arrested for DUI in 2010 and has been afforded another chance to plead her case with evidence that her impairment on the night of the arrest was caused by a date rape drug being slipped into her drink. The Montana Supreme Court has decided that Paffhausen should have the opportunity to present evidence that her actions during her arrest on January 18, 2010 for DUI were involuntary. Pauffhausen was arrested after an officer caught her run through a stop sign before slamming on her brakes at another. When the arresting officer initially questioned Pauffhausen, he noticed an odor of alcohol on her breath as well as slurred speech, both symptoms of alcohol intoxication.

Shortly after Pauffhausen was arrested, she admitted to having drank a small amount of alcohol but also told police that she believed someone had given her GHB, the date rape drug. However, Pauffhausen was denied her request to use involuntary intoxication as a defense by the Missoula Municipal Court as well as calling witnesses regarding the use of GHB throughout the city. After a 4-3 decision in the Montana Supreme Court in favor of Pauffhausen, Justice James Nelson said, “A hearing is a small price to pay if seeking justice and not simply a conviction is the object of criminal prosecutions“. Nelson also expressed concern over the possible implications that a victory for Pauffhausen could have on DUI law throughout the state if future offenders falsely claim to have been given a date rape drug.

If you have been arrested for driving drunk, contact an experienced and skilled Montana DUI attorney for legal assistance.

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