Dismissed! - DUI, Hit and Run and Reckless - client is alleged to have had a BAC of .211/.217!
On April 7, 2014 a King County District Court Judge dismissed my client's charges of DUI, Hit and Run and Reckless Driving.
I took this case in front of a judge because I knew the City had an extremely tricky situation in front of it, that is, there was no proof my client was the actual driver at the time of an alleged accident. The client was alleged to have driven a truck into an electrical pole, over some bushes and then run over a stop sign. The truck was then seen driving down a dead end street and it never came out. One witness (there were 8) at the scene of the accident saw the truck being driven and led the officer's to the last know location (dead end street). The officers were able to locate the vehicle after noticing signs of recent damage, some leaves, we grass on the tires and that the hood was warm to the touch.
The officers garnered the registered owner's information from the license plate and went to his home. His brother answered the door, admitted the vehicle was my client's and that he recently got home. The client then appeared at the front door and exhibited signs of intoxication (1000 yard stare, bloodshot eyes, inability to stand without swaying, etc.). He was asked if he had been driving and admitted he was the only driver of the vehicle that night. The officers then arrested him for DUI, Hit and Run and Reckless Driving. The client is alleged to have submitted to two samples of his breath with results of .211 and .217.
I cross-examined both officers about their observations. They admitted neither one saw the vehicle being driven, that they did not ask my client if he had been drinking, if he had been involved in an accident, nor did they get any identity of the driver from the possible 8 witnesses. I argued to the judge that the City was unable to establish the corpus delicti of the alleged crimes, that is, could they establish my client was driving at the time of the accident and that he was intoxicated at that time. The judge agreed with my interpretation of case law and dismissed the charges.
Just and example of when things seem tough at first, you just never know.