Case Conclusion Date: February 9, 2007
Practice Area: DUI / DWI
Outcome: Not guilty DUI. Not guilty .08 or more BAC.
Description: The following summary is from the Bangor Daily News, April 9, 2007. N***** was arrested Oct. 6 at the Blackwoods Campground in Acadia National Park. He was charged with operating a motor vehicle in the park with a blood alcohol level in excess of 0.08, the legal limit in Maine, and of operating a motor vehicle in the park while being incapable of safely operating it. N*****’s blood alcohol level was 0.10 percent, according to court documents. Because the park is federal property, criminal cases are handled in U.S. District Court in Bangor. Drunken driving on federal property is considered a petty offense under federal law. U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk in February found N***** not guilty on both charges after a bench trial in federal court in Bangor. She said prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that N***** "operated a motor vehicle at a time when his consumption of alcohol rendered him incapable of safely operating the same." The judge also found that the federal standard for proving a driver was impaired was higher than the state law applied in Maine. In her written ruling she cited testimony from a government witness who said the breath test result was subject to a margin of error, so N*****’s blood alcohol level could have been as low as 0.075 and as high as 0.125 percent. Because the test was given nearly an hour after N*****’s last beer, the alcohol from that last drink had not yet been absorbed into the defendant’s bloodstream at the time of the operation. It takes 30 minutes to an hour for a man weighing 180 to 200 pounds to absorb alcohol into the bloodstream. N***** weighed 190 pounds, according to court documents. Many of those facts, Kravchuk said, came out during Foote’s cross-examination of the prosecution’s expert witness.