Leominster District Court –
Result: Not Guilty
Client is a 25 year old man from Leominster, MA who was charged with OUI-Drugs and a civil infraction of failure to stop or yield. OUI-Drugs also referred to as DUI, DWI or operating under the influence can be charged when the police suspect that the client is either under the influence of alcohol or some other controlled substance.
In this case the client was involved in a motor vehicle accident after driving through an intersection and striking another vehicle. The client was driving his sister’s vehicle and told police he stepped on the brakes but the vehicle didn’t stop. The police officer made observations that the client’s speech was very slurred, and it appeared he was sweating around his eyes and had bubbling saliva around his mouth.
The officer further detected a faint smell of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle. Inside the vehicle the police discovered two small baggies with white residue consistent with packaging for street level drug sales, as well as trace amount of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. The client denied that he had taken any drugs that day and stated he last took his prescription Valium a couple of days ago.
The officer administered field sobriety tests to the client and according to the officer he failed the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the 9 Step Walk and Turn and the One Leg Stand tests. The client was able to pass the Alphabet test, although he allegedly had very slurred speech. The client complained that he was very cold during the tests.
A Drug Recognition Expert or (DRE) was also brought in to evaluate the client. The DRE determined that the client was under the influence of Cannabis and a Narcotic. The DRE did not testify at trial and therefore neither his evaluation nor his opinions were admissible at trial. The only witness was the responding police officer.
Attorney Riddle focused his defense on a couple of factors: the fact that the vehicle was the client’s sisters’ vehicle, therefore the client did not know the vehicle’s brakes were malfunctioning, nor did he have any knowledge of the empty baggies in the car nor the trace amounts of green leafy substance. On cross-examination Attorney Riddle was able to elicit from the officer that he never had the baggies or the substances tested for any controlled substances and therefore had no idea what they were. Attorney Riddle was also able to focus the Court through his cross-examination on the specific parts of the field sobriety tests the client performed correctly, and emphasized the facts that the client was just in a motor vehicle accident and it was extremely cold outside in February.
At the conclusion of the jury waived trial the client was found Not Guilty of Operating Under the Influence of Drugs and Not Responsible of the Failure to Stop/Yield.
The Leominster OUI / Drug defense lawyers at our law firm serve the Worcester County region in all drunk driving charges including the areas of Lunenburg, Leominster, Fitchburg, Worcester, Gardner, Clinton, Bolton, Lancaster, Berlin, Acton, Concord, Greenfield, West Boylston, Marlborough, Northborough, Westborough, Groton, Shirley, Pepperell, Townsend, Ashby, Winchendon, Ashburnham, Templeton, Princeton, Ayer, Harvard, Worcester County, Middlesex County, Franklin County and surrounding communities in Massachusetts.
RIDDLE & ASSOCIATES, ATTORNEYS AT LAW
Fitchburg Leominster DUI OUI DWI Attorneys
344 Summer Street
Fitchburg, Massachusetts 01420