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Client Passed Out BUT Not Impaired

Posted Friday, January 4, 2019 by Andrew Charles Huff

A great outcome in a DUI case that initially looked pretty challenging at first but resulted in a full dismissal. My client was found passed out in a drive through coffee line. The barista called police, who tried and were able to wake my client up. Suspecting impairment, officers asked my client if he had been drinking alcohol. Client answered “No” but was soon arrested for Driving Under the Influence.

I challenged the arrest on grounds that officers did not have reason to believe client was impaired. Here is why: Officers never once smelled alcohol during the entire encounter; client denied drinking any alcohol when questioned; no field sobriety tests were administered due to client’s condition. I argued that officer simply assumed he was impaired but he could have been suffering a medical emergency such as a stroke or heart attack. In other words, responding officers concluded he was impaired when in reality there was no reason to believe this was the case. The judge agreed with this argument and case dismissed.

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