by Attorney Patrick T. Barone
People vs. J. W.
43rd District Court - Ferndale
Our client was observed traveling
54 mph in a 35 mph zone. According to the police report, "upon activating
the over head the suspect immediately jerked his vehicle to the right
lane almost striking a vehicle". The report further indicates that
the driver/suspect fumbled through his wallet attempting to locate the
requested documents (driver license, proof of service, and registration).
The driver had a flushed face, watery bloodshot eyes, and slow hard to
understand speech. His movements were slow and deliberate. The driver
admitted drinking one glass of wine about "45 minutes ago".
Upon exiting his vehicle, the driver's balance was "very unsteady".
The "alcohol influence
report" indicates that the driver almost fell during the one-leg
stand test, and therefore, the test was stopped. During this exercise,
the driver also used his arms for balance, and put his foot down. During
the alphabet task, his speech was slowed and slurred, and his balance
was swaying. He was able to do the finger count, but again, his performance
was slow and deliberate. He was able to pick a number between 13 and 15.
After the field exercises, the suspect/driver was arrested. At the station
a breath test was administered with a result of .08/.07. The driver was
charged with operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor (OUIL).
After the pretrial in this
case, we immediately set the case for trial. The trial date was adjourned
several times, and on the final pretrial date, the client was out-of-town,
and therefore unable to attend. We did attend, and were able to persuade
the Court not to issue a bench warrant for our client's non-appearance,
and did conduct a final jury pretrial. At this time we were able to persuade
the prosecuting attorney to offer a reduced charge of careless driving,
a civil infraction carrying only a fine and three points. The client plead
guilty to this charge when he returned from his trip, and was received
a small fine. His driver license was not suspended, revoked or in any
way restricted, (he retained full driving privileges). Additionally, there
was no jail time, no probation and no community service.
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