Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Combined Alcohol and Controlled Substance DUII Dismissed


                The client was seen by the police sleeping in her vehicle in a parking lot with an open container in the center console.  After knocking on the window, the client woke up and began a conversation with the officer.  During the conversation, the client admitted drinking and that she took various prescription medications.  Field sobriety tests were recorded, and the officer reported that the client “failed” all the tests.  After arrest, the investigating officers joked together asking “what do you think she’ll blow?”  Laughing his response, one of the officers said “at least a .13%.”  The client took the breath test which was a .05%.  Despite the low breath test, the state continued to prosecute and theorized that the prescription medications combined with the alcohol to cause the client to be under the influence. 

                The client was eligible for the diversion program, but decided to accept the significant risk and proceed to trial.  Prior to trial, Mr. Snow repeatedly told the prosecutor how weak the state’s case was.  “When a combined theory of controlled substance and alcohol is alleged, the state needs to prove that the Defendant was, in fact, under the influence of controlled substances at the time of driving,” said Snow.  “Without a Drug Recognition exam, or a urinalysis test, the state would be asking the jury to speculate that controlled substances were affecting my client at the time of driving.”  One week before trial, the prosecutor elected to dismiss the case.  The prosecutor told the judge, “Your Honor, I think Mr. Snow would just have too much fun my officer’s investigation.” 

submitted by DUI attorney Randy Snow
Harris, Wyatt and Amala
Salem, OR