Tue 6/13/2023 9:49 AM
NFG Felony DUI Trial Garfield County
One more for the day. This is the promised sequel to our NFG felony DUI trial last August where our client got another DUI 2-days prior to that Felony DUI trail.
Client was golfing in Rifle and stopped to pick up dinner at Wing Nuts to take home to his wife. He fell into a planter walking into the restaurant and waitresses claimed he was the 2nd drunkest patron they had ever seen, slurring his speech and stumbling. They denied serving him a beer while waiting for his food and secretly called in a REDDI report. Officer Sgt. Pruitt of Rifle PD pulled him over as he was leaving the restaurant and administered roadsides and made the arrest, after following him for a mile and a half with no alleged bad driving. Client refused chemical testing.
Client purportedly failed the HGN and was falling all over the place during WAT and OLS, although he was complaining about his Sciatica and back pain. We hired David Keech, a masterful trial expert who I would highly recommend, as an investigator and roadside expert. Keech discovered that the bartender had allegedly recently called in her ex-husband for driving drunk and after officers contacted him, found him to be sober. I crossed her, creating a Jerry Springer family drama side story while attacking her credibility. Keech then tore up Sgt. Pruitt’s roadsides, pointing out that he had not properly administer the HGN and could not have seen clues because he did not hold stimulus out at maximum deviation for the required 4 seconds to determined sustained nystagmus at max. deviation. He also skipped several steps, only making 4 passes instead of 8. Pruitt also did not properly administer WAT, having client put the incorrect foot forward, so client entered turn with wrong foot forward, etc, and giving other incorrect instructions. We then brought on client’s physical therapist to verify that client could not perform roadsides because of his afflictions, bringing a spinal cord into the courtroom and standing in front of the jury demonstrating client’s movement range.
For closing argument, trial guru Dan Shipp told a heartfelt story, and nothing more, about a man plagued with Polio in Louisiana in the 50s who could not have passed any roadsides but had a valid drivers license because he could safely operate a vehicle despite having a clubbed foot and other twisted bodily distortions. The courtroom atmosphere shifted from the DA’s vociferous ranting to a calm emotional silence. Dan articulated to the jury that our client passed the only test that mattered, proven safe operation of the vehicle despite having Sciatica and other damning issues. The jury came back in less than 2-hours with a NFG verdict on all charges.
Clay Shipp, Esq.