State v. P.T.

Not Guilty

State v. P.T.

Harris #7

8/8/19

Attorney: Mark Thiessen

DWI 2nd. .342 BLOOD TEST NOT GUILTY!!! This was an interesting one. Car was pulled over doing 95 in a 60. In the almost 3 minutes that it took the officer to approach the driver’s window, my client and the driver switched seats. So my client was sitting in the driver’s seat drunk as a skunk when the officer came to the window. Client couldn’t even figure out how to open the door to get out for the officer. Client told them the entire time that he switched seats and wasn’t the driver but he wasn’t believed because his prior 2004 DWI. The police just thought they had a slam dunk DWI fall in their lap. Thank God for dash and body cams! While the officer was writing a ticket and not looking, the jury was able to see the brake lights and car movement on the video. The jury got all the evidence and got to hear how the real driver had warrants and a suspended license. Basically, my client thought he was doing his friend a favor and switched seats so his friend wouldn’t get busted with the warrants. My client thought he was just get a speeding ticket. Common sense prevailed the day and the jury followed the law that the State did not prove client was driving beyond a reasonable doubt. I stipulated to every element but driving. Stipulated to all the evidence: videos, blood test, pictures, etc. I was honest with the jury from voir dire and told them this was a case based solely on driving. The client was in the driver’s seat but not the driver. He made a stupid mistake trying to help a buddy. Thank you to the jury for following the law and holding the State to their burden. Thanks to my second chair, Lantz Clinton, for working the case up and his invaluable insight. Client learned his lesson to never get behind the wheel and “take a speeding ticket” when you are 4.5x the legal limit. No good deed goes unpunished, but being wasted behind the wheel doesn’t mean you drove it there.