A Howard County DUI trial is one way to be found not guilty of driving under the influence in Maryland. The Law Office of Ross W. Albers recently tried a DUI case in the District Court.
A Howard County DUI Trial May Lead to a Not Guilty Verdict
In the Howard County DUI trial, the police arrived on the scene of a single car accident. My client, the driver of the vehicle, advised that she swerved to avoid another car and lost control of her vehicle.
The police smelled the moderate odor of alcohol on my client’s breath and asked her if she had been drinking. My client advised that she had a couple mixed drinks. The police had my client perform the standard sobriety tests, which she failed. My client refused to take the preliminary breath test, but submitted to a breathalyzer and had a BAC of 0.17.
My client was was charged with DUI, DUI per se and DWI. She was not charged with any underlying moving violation, such as negligent driving, reckless driving, etc.
Before court, my client and I met to review her case and prepare her defense. I advised that the State’s offer was a guilty plea to DUI per se and probation before judgement. Since my client wasn’t charged with any moving violations, was a first time DUI offender and had completed an alcohol assessment and treatment, I explained she likely would get the same sentence if she admitted to DUI per se or took her case to trial.
Additionally, I counseled her that the State had to prove that she was under the influence at the time of the accident. Here, the State could prove that she was intoxicated due to her breathalyzer results, but didn’t have any evidence that she was drunk when she admitted driving.
At trial, through the State’s direct examination and my cross-examination of the police officer, I was able to outline my client’s timeline of events.
During my closing argument, I grabbed the court’s chalkboard and outlined the timeline of events for my client’s DUI defense. I explained that in order to be found guilty of driving under the influence, the State most prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client was intoxicated at the time she was driving.
Additionally, I had case law that reiterated that admitting to drinking is not enough to prove intoxication and impairment. Unfortunately, the judge found my client guilty.
Ultimately, my client received a probation before judgment and no points on her driving record for first offense DUI.
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Maryland Attorney Ross W. Albers is a former Baltimore City prosecutor. The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is located in Carroll County and handles the following matters throughout Maryland: criminal defense, driving under the influence defense, juvenile defense, peace orders, and personal injury.