After a night out in downtown Phoenix, our client was pulled over for driving the wrong way on a one-way street. A police officer happened to be driving down the one-way street when he spotted our client’s headlights coming straight at him. The officer initiated a traffic stop and claimed that our client took too long to pull over to the side of the road. A total of three officers came on the scene and alleged that our client had bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, and difficulty maintaining his balance.
An officer conducted field sobriety tests and noted clues of impairment on the HGN test and walk-and-turn test. Our client performed well on the one-leg-stand test, but the officer discredited his performance stating he did not look at his foot as instructed. He was then arrested for DUI and brought back to the police station for a blood test. After agreeing to answer questions, our client admitted to law enforcement that he consumed seven shots of whiskey prior to driving that evening. A lab test of his blood came back with a BAC of .105.
Rather than accepting a plea offer, we took the case to trial by jury. When we set the case for trial, the prosecutor threatened to file the case as a class 4 felony Aggravated DUI because our client was alleged to have been driving the wrong way down a one-way street. We refused to back down and called the prosecutor’s bluff—they did not file felony charges. We battled the prosecutor and her witnesses during the trial, cross-examining the officer regarding his numerous errors and insufficient memory. Through cross-examination of the state’s expert witness and our own expert witness, we were able to prove that the .105 BAC reading was inaccurate and that our client’s BAC was likely far below the legal limit of .08, even with his admission to consuming seven shots of whiskey.
Our DUI defense attorneys convinced the jury that the officer was biased and believed our client was drunk before conducting any tests, simply because he was driving the wrong way. The jury found our client not guilty on both DUI charges, agreeing that he was not impaired and that his BAC was not .105, despite the blood alcohol test result. He was able to keep a clean record, his job, and his reputation. We were also able to expunge the MVD admin per se license suspension from his driving record completely.