0.275/0.285 Breath Test Case Won on Morning of Trial

William C. Head

Case Conclusion Date:January 21, 2008

Practice Area:DUI / DWI

Outcome:Breath Tests Tossed, DUI Dropped Entirely

Description:After fighting the case for 16 months and over 20 hours of motion hearings, we announced "ready" for trial. Our objective was to finish the case so an appeal to the pre-trial rulings could be taken. Because the case was so "old" and needed to be closed, both parties agreed on the specially-set trial date. On the Friday before the Monday trial, the prosecutor called to offer a reduction of the DUI case to reckless driving. Because the Client needed a non-DUI disposition, she accepted that offer. The prosecutor had learned on the Friday before trial that the Intoxilyzer breath test operator was not going to be available for trial, due to a family trip he had planned for his daughter. Without the tests, the other evidence was fairly weak for the State because the Client declined field sobriety tests and never took a roadside breath test. Client was a state-licensed professional, and this resolution saved her ability to work in her chosen field. In Georgia, a reckless driving for a driver age 21 and over does not cause a license suspension. If trial had not been demanded, no appeal of the pre-trial rulings would have been possible. Therefore, the strategy of being ready for trial was the secret to winning the case.

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