Client a 55 year old man from Georgia was arrested and charged with operating under the influence also referred to as OUI, DUI or DWI. The client was also charged with unlicensed operation and possession of open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.
It was clear from the start of this case that the issue was going to be whether or not the Commonwealth could prove the “public way” element of the offense on each charge. All three charges carried the element of public way that the Commonwealth is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
In this case the police received a call that a man was blocking a driveway. Harvard police arrived to find the client passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle with the keys in the ignition and vehicle running in the driveway of a citizen’s home. Attorney Damian Riddle took the case to trial in the Clinton District Court.
Harvard Police testified that the client had slurred speech, smelled of a strong odor of alcohol, had an open beer can in the center console, appeared to have urinated on himself, could barely stand and failed multiple field sobriety tests. The client also admitted that he had been driving. The client was arrested and provided a breath test of .29, almost four times the legal limit.
At trial Attorney Damian Riddle was able to get the Harvard police to admit that they never observed the client operating on a public way ever; that the police had no evidence of how long the client had been in the driveway; that the police had no evidence of when the client consumed the alcohol; and that the driveway where the client was located was in fact a private residence. The client was found Not Guilty of all three criminal charges.