The defendant was charged with a single count of driving under the influence. The allegation was that a citizen had come upon multiple vehicles in a ditch and the citizen observed that the defendant was intoxicated and getting out of the driver's door of one of the vehicles. The police were called and arrived more than an hour after the alleged collision had occurred. The defendant refused to accept DUI diversion and instead exercised his right to a jury trial. The State dismissed the case one week prior to the scheduled trial date.
"There was no question my client was intoxicated. The video provided of the incident that night showed that my client was heavily intoxicated. The issue in this case was that my client had not been driving. When the officer finally arrived on scene and began interviewing the people there he was given certain information. First, my client denied having driven the vehicle and that someone else had been driving. Second, the citizen witness that had called the police in the first place had not seen who had been driving the vehicle as he had arrived after the vehicle was in the ditch. Third, another witness on scene had just come from the bar down the road and told the officer that a female had just entered the bar and admitted to just having "wrecked" my client's truck. However, because the officer was not there to actually investigate the case, the officer ignored this critical information. The officer simply concluded my client was lying and arrested him for DUI without any further investigation. The officer could not be bothered to take 10 - 15 min to walk the 100 feet to the bar to inquire about this mystery woman. In our investigation we interviewed the bar tender of the bar that night who corroborated that my client had been at the bar with a woman, whom she didn't know, and that when my client left the woman had his keys. Shortly before trial was supposed to begin the State claimed they were unable to secure witnesses at trial and moved for a continuance. We objected. The Court denied the request to continue the case and the case was dismissed."
Josephine County, Oregon
Actual Case Summaries
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