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People vs. S.M.
Charge: Criminal OWI
Court: 36th District Court – Detroit, Michigan
S.M. was arrested and charged with the criminal OWI. The Detroit Michigan Police report/warrant request indicated as follows:
"Crew observed above subject drive over curb through vacant lot to avoid traffic at Fourth and Grand River. Upon investigation subject smelled of intoxicants and had bloodshot dilated eyes. Subject was asked to rear of vehicle to preform series of field sobriety evaluations. Subject passed ABC°s, failed counting backwards from 100-88 & failed One-Legged Stand. Subject was offered PBT with a result of .12.". The evidentiary breath test registered two results of .12 each.
As a result of the above investigation, our client was charged with the criminal misdemeanor violation of OWI. We set the criminal matter for jury trial. On the day of the trial, the arresting officer was present, but the officer who administered the breath test failed to appear, and was not present. We moved to dismiss on these grounds.
The prosecutor originally argued to the Court that she could move forward at the trial on the common law theory of "Operating While Under the Influence of Liquor". We responded that by not calling the breath test officer we were effectively precluded our right of cross-examination, and cited to the Court the brand new case of Crawford vs. Washington, a case where the United States Supreme Court effectively expanded a criminal defendant°s right to confront and cross-examine prosecution witnesses. The prosecutor ultimately withdrew her argument, and indicated to the Court that she was not ready to proceed. The Court then agreed with our arguments, and dismissed the case.