Possession of Marijuana & DWI
dismissed drug possession - acquitted dwi
Background: K. M. was driving back to Anchorage after a long weekend fishing trip on the Kenai Peninsula. As he came into Anchorage he was approaching a "T" intersection, in which he had a stop sign traveling north, while the east-west traffic was a thoroughfare. He apparently fell asleep as he was approaching the intersection, failed to stop at the stop sign, and narrowly missed striking a northbound vehicle with two occupants. His Jeep went across the thoroughfare, crashing into a ditch with large boulders on the other side.
state of alaska vs. K. m., district court, anchorage
state police troopers administer sobriety tests
Troopers came to the scene, administered some field "sobriety" tests, which K. m. allegedly failed and arrested him for driving while intoxicated. He was taken to a police station and a breath test was administered with a .18 result. A videotape was also made of K. m. at the police station, including the sequence when the breath test was administered.
possession of marijuana charged
After K. m. was taken into custody, during an inventory search some marijuana was found in a container in his pocket. K. m. was charged with DWI and possession of marijuana while driving.
slone wins motion to suppress evidence
Attorney Fred Slone filed a pretrial motion to suppress the marijuana evidence on the grounds that it was obtained by an illegal search in violation of K. m.'s constitutional rights. That motion was granted.
slone impeaches state police testimony
At trial, the witnesses in the vehicle which was almost struck by K. m. testified, as did the trooper who arrested K. m. However, at trial the State failed to produce a copy of the video recording which was made at the station. Additionally, Attorney Slone was able to successfully impeach much of the trooper's testimony at trial with prior inconsistent testimony he had given at a pretrial hearing.
possession of marijuana charge dismissed
The court had already dismissed the marijuana possession charge.
not guilty drunk driving & reckless driving
Despite the .18 breath test reading, and the State's witnesses testifying that K. m. was visibly intoxicated, the jury returned a "NOT GUILTY" verdict on the DWI charge. The jury also returned a "NOT GUILTY" verdict on the lesser included offense of reckless driving.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on the lesser included traffic infraction of negligent driving, for which K. m. received a $300.00 fine, but no adverse license action and no jail time.