Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Case # 1: OWI/PAC-First Offense with Accident Amended to Reckless Driving
DM was driving home when he turned left at an intersection and struck the side of an oncoming vehicle. When police arrived, the officer alleged that he noticed DM initially pulled out a credit card instead of his driver's license, had slow and slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, a moderate odor of intoxicants coming from his breath and that DM was slow to respond to questions. DM allegedly failed the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus and One Leg Stand field sobriety tests, but passed the Walk and Turn test. However, one of the more difficult facts was that DM initially told the officer that he had two beers over two hours. Later, he changed his story and stated that he had been drinking for about three and a half hours and that he had three mixed drinks during this time. The Intoximeter EC/IR II test result of .09 g/210L did not help either.
By focusing on the one passed field sobriety test, that DM had no balance issues other than during the One Leg Stand test, that the weather was bitter cold, that DM was cooperative, etc., and by providing an expert report demonstrating that at the time of driving that DM would have actually been below the legal limit of .08, Attorney Murray was ultimately able to convince the prosecutor to amend the charge. DM was very pleased but it did not stop there.
The Reckless Driving ticket carried six demerit points, which would have put DM into a demerit points suspension with the Department of Transportation. Knowing this, Attorney Murray was able to go back and reopen DM's most recent speeding ticket with a different court and had it amended down, saving DM's license. This kind of dedication is what you can expect from our firm.
Case # 2: OWI-First Offense Amended to Reckless Driving Ticket
Officers were dispatched to a residence after the caller stated that BB showed up in his truck, had been drinking and would not leave. The caller said that BB had called and texted so frequently that day that she blocked him and that his snapchats showed him holding red solo cups with bottles of alcohol in his possession and some of the messages stated that he was going to drink the night away.
Police stopped BB's vehicle down the road a ways and BB denied that he had drank anything in the last six hours. THe officer alleged that he noticed the moderate odor of alcohol and red, bloodshot and glossy eyes, as well as an unusually relaxed demeanor of BB. BB then allegedly failed the field sobriety test and a preliminary breath test returned a result of .099. However, the Intoximeter EC/IR II test result came back at .06 g/210L.
Unfortunately, this was the reverse of DM's case above because the prosecutor's argument was that BB would have been above the legal limit at the time of driving as confirmed by the preliminary breath test and his statement that he had not consumed any alcohol in six hours. Regardless, rather than slugging the case out in court with Attorney Murray, the prosecutor agreed to amend the OWI to a ticket for Reckless Driving. Another happy client.
Case # 3: OWI-First Offense Completely Dismissed
This was an easier case. The Intoximeter EC/IR II result was .05 g/210L. While there were some difficult facts that led the arresting officer to issue the OWI charge in the first place, rather than accepting some type of amended charge, Attorney Murray was able to have the charge completely dismissed. SS could not have received a better result.
Case # 4: OWI/PAC-First Offense with .142 Blood Test Amended to Inattentive Drivng for Client with Commercial Driver's License
This was not an easy case. JT left a festival in his pickup truck and an officer noticed he did not stop at the red flashing lights at an intersection. The officer went to turn around and lost sight of the vehicle momentarily, but then heard a loud crash. When the officer turned around a corner, he saw a tree had been badly damaged and saw JT's truck continuing down the road with the bumper dragging along the ground. JT failed the field sobriety tests. The preliminary breath test result came back at .133 and the evidentiary blood draw came back at .142.
After approximately seven months of fighting the charges and shortly before the trial, it was discovered that the arresting officer had moved to a different state. While the prosecutor could have issued a subpoena to bring the arresting officer back to court for the trial, the case ultimately settled with the OWI charge being amended to Inattentive Driving and the remaining charges of Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration-First Offense and Hit and Run were dismissed. JT was thrilled and hopefully learned a valuable lesson.
Case # 5: OWI/PAC-First Offense with Accident and .248 Blood Test Amended to Ordinance That Does Not Show-up on Driving Record
This was also a difficult case. A sheriff's deputy came upon DS' vehicle in the ditch at the intersection of two county highways. DS told the deputy that he swerved to miss another vehicle and DS was visibly impaired on the squad video in addition to the many observations of the deputies. Moreover, DS refused to do the field sobriety tests, instead telling the officers to just put the handcuffs on him. DS also made some statements to the effect that he was coming from a bar down the road. After arresting DS, he was taken for a blood test which returned a result of .248.
Despite all of this evidence, Attorney Murray seized upon the one thing that was never investigated: the time of driving. While DS made various statements that made it seem like he had just come from the bar, the timing of everything was never discussed and after filing motions and pushing the issue, the prosecutor agreed to amend the charge to "Disorderly Conduct with a Motor Vehicle," which is a local ordinance that does not appear on a person's driving record. DS could not be happier.
Case # 6: OWI/PAC-First Offense Amended to Reckless Driving Ticket
CW was pulled over for traveling 55 MPH in a 25 MPH zone and weaving in and out of the bike lane. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer alleged CW had difficulty producing his driver's license and that he could not remember his address. Slurred speech was also alleged. CW also admitted to drinking three "Laughing Clown" 9.8% beers. Aside from the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus field sobriety test, CW did surprisingly well on the balancing field sobriety test, but did not do well on the alphabet test. The breath test could not be conducted because CW had GERD, so a blood draw was conducted hours after the arrest returning a result of .108.
Attorney Murray went to work. Viewing of the scene was very important in this case as the bike lane had been faded to the point that you could not see it at night, even with headlights on. Also, a simple review of the squad video showed that the officer was exaggerating the speed, although CW was probably speeding. Moreover, CW had a documented speech impediment and was dyslexic, providing an explanation for the slurred speech and the failed alphabet test. The biggest hurdle seemed to be the high blood test result and the fact that it was hours after the stop, making it difficult to argue that CW was below the legal limit at the time of driving. However, due to the higher alcohol percentage beer that CW was drinking, it was theoretically possible that he was below .08. Rather than go to trial, the prosecutor ultimately agreed to amend the charge to a Reckless Driving ticket.
Case # 7: OWI/PAC-First Offense Amended to Absolute Sobriety Violation and Failure to Keep Vehicle Under Control tickets
KE, who was under the age of 21 at the time, put his truck in the ditch when he swerved to miss a deer. He allegedly failed the field sobriety tests when officers arrived and provided a preliminary breath test of .101. The Intoximeter EC/IR II test came back at .09 g/210L.
The prosecutor was very stubborn in this case and we fought the charges for literally years. Never backing down, after several rounds of pretrial motions, the prosecutor finally agreed to come off the OWI/PAC charges. A very nice result for a very nice young man.