Motorcycle Accident By Military Personnel
drinking & accident not dui
Background: J. P. was hosting a social gathering at this house to celebrate his recent promotion in the military. At one point J.P. was giving a guest a ride on his motorcycle. The motorcycle went off the pavement on a winding portion of the highway and ended up in a swampy area. The passenger suffered a broken arm and both had numerous scratches, abrasions, and bruises.
state of alaska vs. j.p., district court
After the accident, J.P. and his passenger walked to a nearby home. The owner believed that they were both intoxicated and called police.
police administer sobriety tests after accident
Police arrived and gave J.P. a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which he allegedly failed. No other physical field sobriety tests were administered. A preliminary breath test was administered at the scene with a .144 result.
police arrest suspect for dwi & reckless endangerment
J.P. was arrested and taken to a police station where an Intoximeter 3000 breath test was administered with a .121 result. J.P. was charged with both driving while intoxicated and reckless endangerment.
defense creates necessary evidence
Numerous photos were taken by the defense of the area where the accident occurred, showing the nature of the road.
drinking, but not intoxicated
At trial, J.P. testified that while he had been drinking beer, he was not intoxicated, and that the accident occurred when they hit loose gravel on the side of the pavement.
defense witnesses testify suspect not drunk
After interviewing several of the guests at the social gathering, Attorney Fred Slone called some of them as witnesses. They testified that while J.P. had been drinking beer, there was no indication that he was intoxicated. The passenger on the motorcycle also testified that he had no belief that J.P. was intoxicated.
jury says not guilty of drunk driving
Despite the .121 breath test result, the jury returned a verdict of "NOT GUILTY" on the driving while intoxicated charge and a verdict of "NOT GUILTY" on the reckless endangerment charge. The jury returned a guilty verdict on the lesser included traffic infraction of negligent driving, for which a $300.00 fine was imposed and no adverse license action.