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Published June 10, 2013, 08:14 PM

Fear no defense against license revocation in MN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals says fear of harm is not a defense against losing one's driver's license for drunken driving.

By: Associated Press, Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals says fear of harm is not a defense against losing one's driver's license for drunken driving.

The case involved a Monticello couple who got into a drunken argument at a Mora resort that turned physical back at their family cabin. After Jennifer Axelberg took refuge in her car, Jason Axelberg punched the windshield. Fearing for her safety, she drove back to the resort where a bystander called police. He was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault while she was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired. The state revoked her license for a year.

In a 2-1 ruling, the appeals court said state law has never recognized the "necessity defense" against a driver's license revocation for drunken driving.

Jennifer Axelberg's attorney, Ryan Pacyga, said he thought the appellate court "took a step backward" in the way it handled victims of domestic assault. He said he would ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to review the case.

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