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01/15

Say What? Driver in Sweden Avoids DUI Conviction in Part Because of Asian Heritage

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

asian_duiEveryone in the United States understands that drinking and driving is not only illegal, but that it is also reckless.  Despite billions of dollars spent on law enforcement and other efforts designed to bring down the number of drunk drivers on the road every year, too many people still make the terrible decision to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.  People wind up getting arrested for DUI, but at least many of those people do not cause car accidents that lead to serious injuries or fatalities.  Regardless, many states have seen the number of DUI arrests rise in recent years.

It should be noted that this is not a problem that is limited to the United States.  Countries all over the world have been searching for ways to catch drunk drivers, and as more people are arrested new and unique defense strategies are also arising.  The rise in the number of DUI cases has also led to some bizarre types of reasoning from judges who have overseen these cases and made different rulings.  This is something we should get used to, but it seems as though a case in Sweden has taken the entire world by surprise.

A story that can be found here describes the arrest of a 63-year-old man of Asian heritage.  A gas station attendant reported the man to police after he was allegedly seen acting as though he was under the influence while filling his vehicle.  Police found the man at his home, and his blood alcohol content was found to be 1.64 promille, which is the equivalent of an American BAC of 0.164.  The legal limit in Sweden is the same as it is in the United States, meaning that the man was legally drunk at the time.

However, the man argued that he had consumed only one small glass of beer before coming home.  He also stated that he had been drinking whiskey after he had gotten out of his vehicle.  Two witnesses corroborated that account.  The case was dismissed because it could not be proven that the man had been driving under the influence, but in closing out the case the judge stated that the man was Asian.  The judge felt this was important because people of different ethnic groups react to alcohol differently.

Does this mean that DUI defenses relating to drivers’ ethnic backgrounds will start to pop up around the world?  Most likely not, but it should also be noted that if anyone with any background drives erratically and causes a car accident that leads to serious injuries or fatalities, how he or she reacted to alcohol will most likely not be a factor in a decision should the injured person file a lawsuit in response.  This type of strange decision will most likely not be repeated.

Therefore, if you or someone you love is injured by a drunk driver – whether or not that person was arrested and convicted of DUI – you need to seek the help of Las Vegas accident lawyers who understand how to obtain results for clients.  Contact Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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