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California assemblyman acquitted on DUI charge

A recent California DUI case underscores how tedious navigating such charges can be. As we discussed in a previous blog, a state assemblyman was arrested earlier this year on a misdemeanor count of DUI and another misdemeanor count of driving with a blood-alcohol level equal to or greater than .08 percent. However, a jury recently found him not guilty of DUI and could not reach a verdict on the second charge. One of the vital pieces of information said to be missing increases the potential for mishandled blood alcohol tests, which can result in false DUI readings.

According to reports, the assemblyman was arrested in March after he and a date traveled to a hotel. Police stated that the assemblyman weaved within a lane and also made two turns without using signals. Once they reached the hotel, police approached the couple, thereafter claiming that they both smelled of alcohol. The assemblyman stated to jurors that the entire bar tab was $24 between both of them.

The assemblyman purportedly failed some of the field sobriety tests administered, according to police, and had a blood alcohol level of precisely 0.08 percent. He refused testing, and then later relented. The defense claimed that the site of the field sobriety testing was sloped and that police did not properly administer the tests. Also, an expert witness stated that the assemblyman's blood draw was not handled correctly, which would have led to a false reading.

Though the results of this case were favorable for the assemblyman, jurors were hung on the status of an additional misdemeanor charge, the one count of driving with a 0.08 or higher blood alcohol level. No word has been given on whether an additional trial will ensue, though prosecutors indicated they would make their decision known at a September court hearing. Like all California residents, this assemblyman utilized his rights and mounted a strong defense and investigation into the facts of the case. Everyone, including police and lab technicians, can make mistakes, which is why it is beneficial for anyone charged with DUI to seek information and evidence to defend their position.

Source: MercuryNews.com, "Assemblyman acquitted on DUI charge stemming from Concord arrest," Malaika Fraley, Aug. 27, 2012

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