Leominster District Court
Client is a 25 year old man from Clinton, MA who was charged with unlicensed operation, speeding and Operating Under the Influence of Drugs also known as OUI, DUI, DWI and drugged driving.
The client was stopped by police traveling 56 mph in a 35 mph zone at 2:00 am in the morning on New Year’s Eve. The client admitted to police that he did not have a valid driver’s license. The officer made observations that the client’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot. The client further admitted that he had just left the bar where he had one drink.
The client agreed to step out of his vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. According to the officer the client failed all three field sobriety tests.
Finally the client admitted that he smoked marijuana sometime earlier in the night. Based on the officer’s observations and performance on the tests the officer placed the client under arrest.
During the jury waived trial Attorney Damian Riddle argued that the officer clearly did not believe the client was under the influence of alcohol, because he did not charge the client with operating under the influence of alcohol, only drugs. Further, the officer made no mention of slurred speech or even an odor of alcohol coming from the client. The only evidence relative to consumption of drugs was a statement from the client that he smoked some marijuana earlier in the night. There was no indication of when or how much marijuana the client smoked. There was no evidence of any odor of marijuana or of any marijuana being found on the client or in the vehicle. Finally there was no evidence that the client’s operation of the vehicle was impaired or that he operated erratically.
Prior to trial the client admitted to sufficient facts that he operated his vehicle without a license and that charge was continued without a finding for a short period of time with unsupervised probation.
Result: After trial the Court found the client Not Guilty of the charge of Operating Under the Influence of Drugs.