She was charged with DUI less safe (alcohol) and Failure to maintain lane. It took the Chatham County jury ten minutes to reach a verdict. Not guilty to DUI less safe. Guilty to Failure to maintain lane. That was the fastest DUI not guilty verdict that I’ve ever had.
Also, this was the first time that I was put in contempt of court and put in a holding cell. So there I was. The judge took me out about ten minutes later and said nothing about it. It was a misunderstanding. But the jury was waiting and a I had a trial to finish. I stayed focused.
She was driving home and using her phone for GPS. She hit a center median and broke her axle, and the air bags exploded hitting her in the face, she lost control of her car and it stopped in the elementary school parking lot across four lanes. A street sweeper saw something. He called the police. The officer did field sobriety on her, but didn’t call for medical assistance. And this is important because the DUI field sobriety expert who testified for my client said that he would have never asked her to do field sobriety and would have called for medical assistance because she was hit in the head by exploding air bags and she crashed. It didn’t matter that she said she was alright. He would have called for help. But the officer did not. Instead, he gave her the field sobriety tests.
DUI police officers are trained that people who are overweight by 50 pounds or more may have difficulty performing the tests. She was over 50 pounds overweight, and this was the key, I think. Not that she was overweight, but that the jury felt awful for her. When I made that point, the room went cold, and dead silent and the witnesses asked about her weight didn’t want to talk about it. So, now this uncomfort lasted longer because I had to make the point. Anyway, she walked out of the court house that evening and said “Thank you.” “Your welcome”, I said.
Judgment: Ten minute DUI not guilty verdict