Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Alleged Drinking at Accident Scene Insufficient to Overcome DUI 3rd

In State v. Orvis, 05-0200 (Iowa Ct. App. 2006), a defendant in a DUI-third offense was driving a motorcycle and hit a truck in Black Hawk County, injuring himself and his passenger. Orvis' blood sample taken at the hospital revealed a BAC of .14. Orvis alleged that he had been sitting at the curb and was drinking from a pint bottle of vodka he kept for medicating himself on just such an occasion, and essentially that nobody could prove otherwise.

The court of appeals made short work of the case, holding that the evidence substantially supported the conclusion that Orvis was intoxicated at the time he ran into the side of the semi truck and that his story was not supported by the facts.

This case does, however, point to the importance of securing the scene of an accident and keeping a close watch on the people involved where it is suspected that one of the drivers is impaired or intoxicated.



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