Boating While Intoxicated Charges Dropped
boating dui, refusal, eluding - dismissed!
Summary: Poor police work opens the door for Attorney Fred Slone to get the charges dismissed for boating DUI, eluding and refusal of a breath test charges.
state of alaska vs. B. B., district court, whittier
harbor dispatcher reports possible boating dui
In June of 1998, a police officer in Whittier received a complaint from the dispatcher at the boat harbor that an individual had spilled several gallons of fuel into the waters of the harbor, and that the dispatcher believed that the individual was intoxicated.
police respond to alleged boating while drunk
Two Whittier police officers arrived at the fuel dock as the vessel was approaching the dock. The police officers, in uniform, advised the captain to tie off at the fuel dock. The captain of the vessel then reversed his vessel and began to leave the harbor area again. The police officers then boarded a skiff and pursued the vessel. About 1 mile into the bay, the police skiff pulled along side the vessel and the vessel captain shut the engine off. The police officers boarded the vessel. They asked B. B., the captain and owner of the vessel, what he was doing, and B. b. allegedly stated that he was "partying".
police arrest for operating watercraft while intoxicated
After noting signs of intoxication , the police arrested B. b. for operating a watercraft while intoxicated and eluding an officer.
captain refuses to submit to sobriety test
B. b. was taken to the police station in Whittier and allegedly refused to submit to a breath test. Consequently, B. b. was charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test, operating a vessel while intoxicated, and eluding a police officer.
boat captain on probation
B. b. had a prior DWI conviction within the last 10 years, and was on probation for an assault conviction entered a few months prior to his arrest in this case.
B. b. retained Attorney Fred Slone. B. b. had previously retained Attorney Slone in a case in which he was charged with DWI and felony tampering with evidence. In that case, Attorney Slone negotiated a disposition whereby the DWI and the felony tampering with evidence charges were dismissed and B. b. entered a no contest plea to a reduced charge of reckless driving.
police fail to abide by law
In this case Mr. Slone obtained discovery materials from the State, including a video tape of the events that transpired at the police station. Based on the video recording, and affidavit of B. b., Attorney Slone filed a pretrial motion to suppress evidence and dismiss the DWI charge. The motion was based on several violations by the police, including (a) failure of the police to advise B. b. of the consequences of refusal to submit to the breath test; (b) denial of B. b.'s request to contact an attorney before being requested to submit to a breath test; (c) misinforming B. b. that .08 is the legal limit in Alaska for operating a vessel while intoxicated; (d) failure to advise B. b. that his Miranda rights did not give him the right to refuse the breath test; and (e) failure to advise B. b. of his right to an independent test other than the breath test.
district attorney agrees to dismiss all charges
After reviewing the motion to dismiss filed by Attorney Fred Slone, the District Attorney agreed to dismiss all charges. B. b. was fully and completely exonerated without any further court hearings.