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
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Boon Gibson, age 25
Michael Bilodeau, age 20