Nonresident OUI Case
State v. K.L.
Blood / Alcohol Content (BAC):
Good driving vs. poor field sobriety tests
Matthew B. Nichols
Operating Under the Influence (OUI, DUI, DWI) (Refusal)
364 days in jail (minimum 4 days in jail), 90 days license suspension and $2,000 fine
Client, a Massachusetts resident, was stopped for unusual operation by a number of Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department Deputies. On cross examination, the Deputy conceded that client’s operation was not so much erratic as it was unusual in that he had reversed direction a couple of times on Interstate 95 — reason being that there are numerous Augusta exits.
The Deputy also indicated to the jury that the numbers of the exits throughout the entire State of Maine on Interstate 95 and Interstate 295 had recently been changed to correspond to the mile markers as opposed to the previous method of numbering them in a linear chronological order. This resulted in a drastic change in the numbering of exits signs and, according to client’s testimony, the exits were numbered the linear chronological fashion the last time he drove in Maine.
Client was arrested because he did not perform the field sobriety tests as instructed by the Deputy. However, on cross examination, the Deputy conceded that the performance was not poor, rather client failed because he failed to follow instructions (for example on the one leg stand client chose to stand in the “crane position” as per his karate training as opposed to the NITSA style stance that the officer wanted him to utilize).
At the police station, the officer refused to allow client to have a blood test and insisted that he take a breath test. Although Maine does not allow the arrestee to chose the type of chemical test, client steadfastly refused to take a breath test because he did not feel that it was as reliable as a blood test.