Field Sobriety Test

OUI Case: Incriminating Evidence Supressed

State v. J.S.


Blood / Alcohol Content (BAC):

Refusal

Defense:

Motion to suppress evidence, zero tolerance, prior conviction, refusal

Defense Attorney:

Matthew B. Nichols

Offense:

Count 1 -Operating Under the Influence-2nd offense (OUI, DUI, DWI), Count 2 – Operating Beyond License Restriction (zero tolerance license because of prior OUI, DUI, DWI conviction)

Maximum Sentence:

Count 1 – 364 days in jail (minimum 12 days in jail), 18 month license suspension and $2,000 fine Count 2 – 180 days in jail, 1 year license suspension, $1,000 fine

Synopsis:

Client had a prior conviction for drunk driving less than one year prior to this incident. The prior conviction did come into evidence because client elected to go to trial on both Count 1 and Count 2.

Maine State Trooper testified that he responded to a turnpike service plaza for a report of 2 young females who had just arrived at the Burger King because their car had broken down several miles away. They received a ride from a trucker to the service plaza. Trooper testified that he identified client as the driver of the vehicle by her own admission and he detected an odor of alcohol on her breath. He had also discovered that she had a conditional license that prohibited her from operating a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in her blood system. That condition was implemented because of a prior conviction for drunk driving that occurred less than 1 year earlier.

Client made a number of incriminating admissions to the Trooper, all of which were excluded from trial based on Attorney Nichols ability to successfully argue a pretrial motion to suppress statements.

The Trooper did testify at trial that contrary to client’s contention that she consumed alcohol after her car broke down, there was no evidence of alcohol or even alcohol containers in or around her vehicle when he went back to do an inventory search and have the vehicle towed.

Despite the Trooper’s claim, other documents obtained through the discovery process revealed that the same Trooper actually retrieved an almost empty bottle of wine from the client’s vehicle as the tow truck stood by. Client performed remarkably well on her field sobriety tests despite gale winds and an air temperature of -1 degrees below Fahrenheit.

Verdict:

Not Guilty