Monday, January 23, 2012
Haverhill District Division Court heard the evidence on January 23, 2012 where Judge McKenna was presiding. Judge McKenna heard the state’s case which consisted of two police officers. One officer indicated he was headed home and saw a vehicle off the road that had struck a telephone pole, it was approximately 2:30 AM. He observed the driver had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, red and blood shot eyes, and admitted to drinking. The second officer was called to the scene from dispatch. The second officer had my client perform field sobriety tests. The officer testified that he failed the three standard tests and refused a breath test. The second officer also smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage, observed red and blood shot eyes and the client admitted to drinking to that officer.
Mr. S’s. future employment was at stake because if he was found guilty he would not be able to continue working at his chosen career due to a criminal conviction. He had been working for over 15 years and a condition of his employment was no criminal convictions.
Mr. S. had a medical history of a bad back, eye surgery and was heavyset for his height. After cross examination of the officers, Attorney Harden rested and made a motion to dismiss. The issues in the case were really impairment and the failure of the police to properly perform the FST as well as any alternative tests. Attorney Harden was also able to show many signs of sobriety that the officers failed to note in direct or in their reports.
The Judge took a break to review his notes and returned a verdict of not guilty. The state had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. S. was driving while his ability was impaired. This means that he will remain fully employed and has no criminal record.