DT was arrested last fall when local Police were investigating a hit and run accident. Having originally been called to the scene of an accident involving three parked cars, the police claim to have followed a trail of debris leading them to DT’s garage.
After following the trail of debris and locating DT at his home, the local police found DT to be visibly inebriated. Upon questioning, DT admitted to driving as well as consuming one or two alcoholic beverages. DT was then brought to the police station where he submitted to and failed the standard field sobriety tests.
It was our belief that the State could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that DT was inebriated at the time the accident occurred. Thus, we argued that it was possible that DT became inebriated only upon returning home after the accident, yet prior to the arrest. Accordingly, we requested a trial.
At trial, the defense conducted a grueling examination of the arresting officers. The police officers testified that neither of them actually witnessed DT driving the car, and that their first contact with DT did not occur until they arrived at his home. As such, the officers admitted that they did not know how long DT had been at home or the time elapsed between the DT returning home and the officers arriving there.
The Judge stated that he felt the officers testified credibly. He thus concluded both that DT was drunk at the time of the arrest and that DT was in fact driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. Despite this, the Judge ruled that the State failed to prove that DT was drunk at the time the accident occurred and, therefore, entered a finding of not guilty.