Monday, September 19, 2016

DUI DIshonor Roll

Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash

Somewhat surprisingly -- considering how busy our little college town was over the weekend -- APD took "only" three drivers off the road for "allegedly" driving with impaired enough sensibilities to be a threat to the general public, aka drunk driving.

Since all three took the legally admissible -- borderline infallible -- Breathalyzer Test back at APD headquarters, their chances of being declared innocent by a "jury of their peers" is pretty much zero.

If you refuse the BT it's an automatic loss of license for six months;  if you take it and it shows you're drunk (.08 threshold) it's a loss of license for only 45 days but with associated costs of $2,587.

So what's an impaired driver to do?

Unfortunately if you refuse the BT that is not admissible in court as evidence, so a prosecutor must rely on he-said-she-said testimony of the arresting officer.  And some DUI attorneys specialize in picking apart trained police officers.

If declared innocent by a jury the attorney simply petitions the Registry of Motor Vehicles to instantly reinstate the license.  Eureka.  At least until their client does it again and slaughters an innocent family enroute to a wedding.

Although the state Supreme Judicial Court struck a blow for common sense public safety on Thursday by upholding the concept that a prosecutor can enter into evidence a failed BT because the driver couldn't follow the simple rules for a proper BT.

Simple that is if you're sober. 

In other words it sends the message to a potential jury that the driver was, you know, impaired.  Drunk.  Dangerous.  Deadly.

In Eastern Hampshire District Court this morning all three defendents were arraigned before Judge Patricia Poehler and had their cases continued.

Ryan Gardner, age 25
Click to enlarge/read
 Boon Gibson, age 25
Michael Bilodeau, age 20



Anonymous said...

Larry, what's that in the 3rd arrest? .113, .080, .116 -- that's a hell of a lot of variance for something that is supposed to be precise. Furthermore, if you subtract the range from the lowest reading, you get 0.044 -- which is defense of sobriety.

Larry Kelley said...

1st and 3rd are almost identical. 2nd could have been the dude not doing it properly because he was , you know, IMPAIRED.

Anonymous said...

I guess you could just sum it up from here- pre & post DWI - for some - it's just a fun barrel of monkeys - to hurt people - with unchecked ignorance and toxic hubris- our bad !!!

Anonymous said...

Or they all could be bogus.

Larry Kelley said...

Well the state weeds out nitwits like you from the jury pool, so no worries.

gastronomy0 said...

Haha brilliant!

Anonymous said...

With respect to Anon 8:26's comment and Mr. Kelley's response, I believe that the .08 reading is a successful test of a control that verifies that the machine is working properly. The control comes chronologically between the two samples provided by the accused. So the relevant samples are the first and the third, and they are within the allowed margin of error. The second is simply the machine essentially checking on itself. I've used layperson's language here, and there may be more precise scientific/technical language that is appropriate here. I, of course, bow to those who are more recently familiar with the breath test machines than my somewhat dated recollection as a former prosecutor of how they work. I am fairly sure that reading #2 is NOT of the defendant's breath.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...


You are right on. The 0.08 (probably a 0.15 back in your day) is the calibration check. That check is set at 0.080 and has an allowable variance by the CMRs to be 0.074 - 0.086.

Lastly, a machine does work. The breath test is administered on a scientific instrument that measures a substance using scientific law and provides a reportable value. In this case, ethanol alcohol. These instruments are pretty damn accurate and reliable despite the nonsense you hear from the defense bar; the ones paid to lie, deflect and misdirect the jury. That is their job and they do it well.

I know for a fact that the APD has an expert (or nearly) in this field. Why not interview him and report back to us? You know, to clear up these issues? Just a thought.