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Nizar Shajani, a forensic consultant, demonstrates the use of an Approved Screening Device(Breathalyzer), which is used by all B.C. police forces, in Burnaby, British Columbia, Tuesday, March 12, 2013.Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

A judge has accepted a Nova Scotia man's claim that he had no choice but to drive his injured friend to the hospital – even though that meant driving drunk.

Judge Paul Scovil says Roger Pleau's claim met the test under the defence of necessity.

Scovil stressed that his ruling should not be taken as condoning impaired driving.

Court heard Pleau and his friend Eldon Deegan had been drinking when Deegan left his apartment in Upper Nappan, fell down some stairs and hit his head.

Both men were locked out of the building without a key and neither had a cellphone or any means of alerting other tenants.

The judge says Deegan was incoherent and having trouble breathing when Pleau panicked and drove his friend to hospital in October 2012.

At the hospital, a nurse noticed Pleau was intoxicated and called police.

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