A Missouri man was acquitted of a suspected DWI after claiming that he got drunk after he crashed his vehicle into a culvert, not before. The incident occurred in February, 2010. Thomas Drummond explained to the court that he had been driving home after a night out with friends when icy road conditions caused him to lose control and crash his car into a culvert.
According to Drummond, he was not intoxicated before the accident. However, he imbibed a considerable amount of alcohol to stay warm during the two hours it took for emergency services to arrive.
“It was the day before the Super Bowl and he had just done some shopping,” Defense Attorney Stephen Wilson said Monday. “It was 32 degrees or colder out and he had brandy in the car, so he kept warm.”
While Drummond’s defense held tight in this case, his logic was scientifically flawed. Contrary to common thought, alcohol does not keep you warm. It may create a feeling of warmth, but in fact it lowers your core body temperature. Thankfully for Drummond, his scientific knowledge was not on trial. His defense attorney merely had to prove that Drummond was not intoxicated prior to the accident. Thus, while Drummond’s actions were based on a misconception, they were not illegal.
This unusual defense tactic has been used before. Real Housewives of New Jersey star Joe Giudice took the same defensive stance after flipping his Ford pickup truck earlier this year. Giudice did not have Drummond’s luck, however. He received a fine of $864 and had his driver’s license revoked for a year.
“In Minnesota, this defense is known as the ‘Post-Driving Consumption’ defense,” says Criminal Defense Lawyer, Avery Appelman. “This is a good defense but requires a mess of proof including testimony by a forensic chemist.”