Minn. Supreme Court to Hear DWI Case Involving Domestic Abuse Victim

Updated: 12/12/2013 7:13 AM
Created: 12/12/2013 7:07 AM
By: Jennie Olson

A high profile DWI case will go before the Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday.

The court will rule on whether a victim of domestic abuse can drive away from her attacker if she’s legally drunk at the time.

The incident happened back in May 2011 in Mora, Minn. Attorneys say 38-year-old Jennifer Axelberg and her husband, Jason, got into a drunken argument that turned physical.  Jennifer ran to her car to escape, but she says her husband punched and cracked the windshield.

Jennifer was afraid, so she drove to a nearby camping resort and someone called police. Her husband was arrested for domestic assault, and Jennifer was charged with a DWI after she had a .18 on a blood alcohol test. Her license was also revoked.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals voted against her two to one; they said the court has never recognized a “necessity defense” or “fear of harm” for someone losing a license because they were driving drunk.

The case goes before the Supreme Court at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Photo: MGN Online

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