Careless Driving - Not Drunk Driving
jury acquits .100 breath test curb jumper
Summary: Jury acquits driver with .100 blood alcohol level after breath test who was seen driving over curb.
A.D. was stopped after the officer allegedly observed him speeding and driving up and over a curb. Field "sobriety" tests were administered, and allegedly failed, after which A.D. was charged with driving while intoxicated. An Intoximeter 3000 breath test was administered at a substation with a .100 result.
anchorage vs. a.d., district court, anchorage alaska
police testify that suspect was drunk
At trial, the two officers each testified that they believed A.D. was intoxicated, based on his erratic driving and poor performance on the field "sobriety" tests, as well as the breath test.
expert witness testifies suspect was drunk
The prosecution called expert witnesses in an attempt to show that A.D.'s alcohol level was even higher than .100 at the time he was driving (approximately one hour before the breath test).
suspect says not possible to be drunk
A.D. testified as to the amount of alcohol that he had drank, and indicated that he had just been out for "breakfast" with a friend of his after bowling. The amount of alcohol that he drank could not have resulted in a .10 alcohol level at the time that he was driving.
witnesses say not possible for suspect to be drunk
A.D.'s friend also testified. He testified that he had been with A.D. for most of the evening and did not note any signs indicating that A.D. was intoxicated. He testified that A.D. had dropped him off just minutes before he was stopped by the police.
witnesses say suspect careless driver
Both A.D. and his friend testified that A.D. was not a particularly careful driver. In fact, they both testified that he had an unusual habit of staying too close to the side of the road. A.D. testified that that was the way he learned to drive in rural Alaska when practicing driving with his father. A.D.'s friend testified that he had been with A.D. before when he had driven up on a curb, but that A.D. was not at all intoxicated on those occasions. He simply had a habit of driving very closely to the right-hand side of the road.
defense expert says not possible for suspect to be drunk
Attorney Fred Slone called an alcohol expert from a leading University in the Pacific Northwest. The expert testified that the amount of alcohol drank by A.D. could not have resulted in a .10 alcohol level at the time that he was driving. The expert testified that there are a number of factors which can affect the accuracy of the breath test, and that A.D.'s alcohol level could well have been below .10 at the time he was actually driving his vehicle.
jury returns not guilty verdict
After approximately four days of trial, the jury returned a verdict of "NOT GUILTY" on the DWI charge. The jury also returned a "NOT GUILTY" verdict on the lesser included offense of reckless driving. The jury did find A.D. guilty of the lesser included traffic infraction of careless driving, for which A.D. received a $100.00 fine and no adverse license action.