Not Guilty Verdict for Motorist Charged with Driving While Intoxicated
On April 18, 2008, a Jury acquitted a Defendant charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Impaired and Disorderly Conduct. The Police alleged that the Defendant stopped at a Stop Sign and then rolled into the intersection and stayed there for 30 seconds ignoring a Police order to move. The Defendant exited his vehicle in a belligerent manner and, according to the Police, stated “I wasn’t driving”. The police testimony consisted of two Police Officers who contended that the Defendant came out of the driver’s seat, unsteady on his feet, with a strong smell of alcohol on his breath and blood-shot eyes. The Defense produced a witness from a home in the neighborhood that disputed the Police account and stated that Defendant’s car was actually double-parked when the Police arrived and the Defendant was outside the vehicle. The Defendant refused a Chemical test of his blood at Central Booking and a videotape was taken. Although the Defendant was agitated on the tape, Attorney Todd D. Greenberg painted out to the Jury that his eyes were not blood-shot, he was steady on his feet, and his speech was not slurred. The videotape was quite unique: it showed the Defendant with his pants around his ankles. In opening statements, the District Attorney suggested that the Defendant was so drunk he could not pull up his pants and told the Jury that the Defendant was “caught with his pants down”, On cross-examination, the Defense established that the Defendant was wearing baggy pants, the Police took his belt causing his pants to fall, and, because the Defendant was belligerent, he was hand-cuffed behind his back and could not pick-up his pants. Apparently, it was the District Attorney who was “caught with his pants down” and not the Defendant based upon the acquittal.