Fitchburg District Court
Client is a 30 year old female from Ashby, MA who received a citation from the police for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol also known as OUI, DUI, and DWI and a marked lanes infraction.
The client was involved in a single car motor vehicle accident at 2:30 am when she fell asleep at the wheel. The client drove through a telephone pole and flipped her vehicle on its side. Fortunately for the client she was wearing her seat belt and her airbags deployed. However, the client still suffered a broken wrist in the crash. Police responded and made observations of a strong odor of alcohol. The client admitted that she had a couple of drinks earlier in the evening. The client also stated that she simply fell asleep at the wheel while driving home. The client was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.
Since the client was transported to the hospital she was not arrested, rather police issued her a citation. The client was advised to request a hearing on the citation and sign it. At the show-cause hearing or Clerk Magistrate hearing as it is referred to, Attorney Damian Riddle argued that there was insufficient evidence presented by the police on the charge of operating under the influence for that charge to issue. Specifically, Attorney Damian Riddle argued that there were no field sobriety tests offered or performed by the client, no breath test offered or performed by the client, no evidence of slurred speech or red, blood shot, glassy eyes, and no allegation of the client being unsteady on her feet. There also was no evidence of when or what the client had to drink. Attorney Riddle on cross examination got the police officer to admit that they cannot tell what, when or how much someone has had to drink merely based on an odor of alcohol. The sole evidence was that the client had two drinks sometime earlier in the evening.
Attorney Damian Riddle argued that this was simply an accident, where the client had fallen asleep from fatigue and that alcohol was not a contributing factor.
Results: The Clerk Magistrate found No Probable Cause on the charge of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol.