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STATE v. M.T.

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STATE v. M.T.

Synopsis: Local police went to an accident scene to investigate a possible OUI. Client was a police officer. Arresting officer believed client was operating the vehicle at the time of the crash and instituted an extremely aggressive investigation. Client never made any admissions to driving but was ultimately arrested upon suspicion of OUI. The Chief of Police administered the breath test.

Chief of Police testified under cross-examination that client was known to him as a tobacco chewer. Chief testified that while he didn’t perform an “official” mouth check, that he could tell client had nothing in his mouth at the time of the breath test (in spite of fact that Chief ALWAYS trained local law enforcement to perform a proper mouth inspection). Finally, Chief testified that he never left client’s presence during the 15 minute wait period. Counsel obtained video evidence that the Chief left the client’s presence two separate times during the wait period; once for more than 2 minutes.

Result: Following a lengthy, 3 hour hearing before the BMV, the hearings administrative officer allowed Counsel for the Defendant to submit a written argument. Upon submission of the written argument the BMV suspension was dismissed.

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