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Can drivers be so drunk that they can’t exhibit depraved indifference? New York high court to decide

Posted Oct 10, 2013 6:35 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Three New York drivers convicted of second-degree murder in auto accidents claim they were so impaired that they didn’t have the necessary state of mind required by the law.

New York’s highest court considered the issue in oral arguments on Tuesday, the New York Times reports. The issue, the story says, is whether a driver can be so impaired that he or she couldn’t have a “depraved indifference” to human life as required by the statute.

One driver had been on a drinking binge for 10 hours before driving his pickup the wrong way on the road. Another also drove the wrong way after heavy drinking at a nightclub. A third had taken Ecstasy and stripped naked during a screaming match with her mother before speeding away.

A decision is expected next month.

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