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Can you drive over the speed limit if there’s an emergency?

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2023 | Traffic Violations

Say that your child has been injured at home, and you’re trying to get them to the hospital as quickly as you can. Or perhaps you and your spouse are going to have a child, and you believe your spouse has gone into labor. Either way, it’s an emergency situation and you need to bring them in for medical care quickly. You may decide to break the speed limit on the way to the hospital, believing that it is warranted because of the emergency.

But is it? If you get pulled over by the police, are they going to see it the same way?

All laws are still in place

Technically speaking, laws do not change in an emergency. Speed limits still apply. This is also why it’s illegal for people to drive under the influence in an emergency, for example. The law still applies even if it is a genuine emergency situation.

Of course, there will be situations in which the police will let someone off. Maybe an officer pulls you over, intending to give you a ticket. You explain the situation and the officer renders assistance or escorts you safely to the hospital. They don’t have to give you a ticket and they could use their discretion to decide that it’s not necessary.

But they could also decide to give you a ticket, and you shouldn’t assume that you can use the emergency to get out of it or that breaking the law will go without any ramifications. Those laws and limits still stand, so you need to look into all of your legal defense options.