Driving under the influence, DUI is serious, but in Sweden with an imaginative or unbelievable story it is possible for drunk drivers to get away with it.
These stories are true.
One night, a 51 year old man in southern Sweden went for a leisurely drive. The car went off the road and landed in a ditch. Polis arrived and smelled powerful alcohol fumes as the man told them he was only driving to the local shop.
The police were not very understanding, taking him in for a blood test. He had 0,185 way over the limit.
In court the man claimed he drove in his sleep and therefore could not be held responsible for his drunk driving. He even claimed that the first statement he made to the police that he drove to the local shop to buy snuff was also done while he was asleep and so should not be considered in court.
He readily admitted drinking a bottle of wine by himself earlier that evening, and then took some sleeping pills before going to bed. The next thing he remembered was sitting in his car in the ditch, dressed in pyjamas and slippers, talking to somebody.
He even had a doctor support him in court saying the man was sleepwalking or driving. The 51 year old claimed he suffered from sleepwalking and was not even awake when he admitted to driving while intoxicated at the police station.
The court believed the man and acquitted him.
The prosecutor was left stunned. “I was surprised; the man is not credible,” she said before heading of to file an appeal.
Still in southern Sweden, near where the 51 year old drove into his ditch, a 50 year old man drove his car into another ditch. Once again the police drove past and stopped to assist. Once again there was a strong suspicion that this was a case of driving under the influence (DUI). The man had an alcohol reading of 0,24.
Once again in court a good story was told. The man claimed he was born with a deformed oesophagus, which was enlarged. The whiskey he had drunk two days previously was still in his throat. When he drove into the ditch, his safety belt pressed on his throat, forcing the whiskey down into his stomach.
The court believed his story and acquitted him.
The prosecutor’s comments were not as diplomatic as in the previous story.
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