DUI Case Histories: Unusual Circumstances with Favorable Outcomes
- Interesting facts in a case can help prove a great defense—as well as be entertaining!
- A good Utah criminal defense attorney can raise many defenses in motions to suppress evidence based on lack of probable cause to arrest to help the results of even a poor case.
This article is from an interview with Utah DUI defense attorney Jason Schatz. In this segment, Jason tells a story about an actual physical control DUI case he defended.
Interviewer: Can you tell me about a case that was memorable, what strategies you used in the defense, and how it was resolved?
Attorney Schatz: I think one of my favorite cases is that I had a client who was actually found parked sitting in his vehicle with the car running, in the driver’s seat at the drive up window at Wendy’s at 6:30 in the morning when the employees came to work in order to get things going for the day.
They pulled into the parking lot of the Wendy’s to talk to them, while his friend, who had agreed to be his driver, decided he wanted to go and spend time with the girls and left him there all by himself. Doing the smart thing, he knew he was too drunk to drive, so he just left the car parked where it was and turned it off. At some point in the middle of the night, he got cold, so he scooted over into the driver’s seat, turned the car on in order to turn the heat on, and that’s exactly where they found him the next morning.
Probably the most common way that cases are fully dismissed is arguing motions to suppress, arguing that the officer didn’t have a legitimate reason for stopping the vehicle in the first place, he didn’t observe a traffic violation or equipment violation or other reason to believe the person was impaired.
There are numerous different motions to suppress the breath test for various different reasons. These include improper calibration of the machine, the officer’s certification to operate the machine had expired, and they didn’t follow the observation period in what’s referred to as the Baker rule. There’s a lot we can do to defend a case.
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