1. Betty drove two of her friends home from work.  On the drive, she lost control of the car and slammed into a big tree.  The two friends were both killed.  Apparently, while driving, Betty lost consciousness and ran off the road.  A later medical examination indicates that Betty had an undiagnosed brain disorder in the portion of her brain that regulated consciousness, and this disorder very likely caused her to become unconscious while driving.  

Can Betty be held criminally responsible for the death of her passengers?


2. Ellie, a very petite woman, went to the unofficial office happy hour after work.  Although she was not generally a drinker, she frequently attended the nightly happy hour to get to know other people in the firm.  During the course of her 45 minute stay, Ellie had one glass of white wine.  On her short drive home, a police officer lawfully pulled her over.  Suspecting Ellie was drunk, the officer conducted a field sobriety test.  Ellie’s blood alcohol level was just above the legal limit.  Ellie did not intend to drive drunk.

Can Ellie be charged with drunk driving?

3. While drinking in a bar, Mauricio got angry at another patron’s insults and tried to punch him.  The man ducked and Mauricio accidentally punched a woman sanding behind him, breaking her nose.  Mauricio is charged with battery, which requires an “intentional act to injure another through physical contact.”

Can Mauricio be convicted of criminal battery?