Obstruction of highway plea offered

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Latest post Sat, Apr 1 2006 3:23 PM by Ford. 18 replies.
  • Sat, Mar 25 2006 1:08 PM

    • myrhonda
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    Question [=?] Obstruction of highway plea offered

    I have a DWI case that is set for trial and after one year of waiting for trial the DA has now ofered to give me a plea deal of obstruction of highway.This "deal" includes a fine of $550 + court costs 2 years probation, DWI classes, victim impact panel and an SAE test also 24 hours of community service. I have to make a decision by Monday whether to take the deal or go to trial. There was an ALR hearing shortly after my arrest which I won because the arresting officer would not allow me to read the form requesting a blood sample. The officer also testified at ALR that he had not decided I was intoxicated at the scene but made the decision at the hospitol. There was an accident involved although no serious injuries. I admitted to the arresting officer that I had consumed 2 Jack and Cokes but was not intoxicated.There was never a field sobriety test done nor blood draw. I requsted a breath test and was refused one. While at the hosp. the officer refused to allow me to read the form for the blood draw (or I would have signed it) and handcuffed me to the bed because I refused to sign without reading. I have a witness willing to testify that I was not intoxicated when I left the bar, and an expert witness willing to testify to implications of a low blood alchohol level based on a UA performed at the emergency room. My question is whether I should take this deal or go to trial?
  • Sat, Mar 25 2006 3:39 PM In reply to

    • Ford
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    "I have a DWI case that is set for trial and after one year of waiting for trial the DA has now ofered to give me a plea deal of obstruction of highway."

    That's probably a good sign. In my city/state they don't reduce DUI to anything lesser unless there is something substantially wrong with their case.

    "There was an ALR hearing"

    Quite often not relevant to the criminal prosecution.

    "There was never a field sobriety test done nor blood draw."

    No FSTs and no medical tests would also tend to work in your favor.

    "I have a witness willing to testify that I was not intoxicated when I left the bar"

    Probably cannot testify about being 'intoxicated.' Could testify to facts, like you weren't staggering and such. Was your witness also drinking?

    "My question is whether I should take this deal or go to trial?"

    Nobody here can tell you that. If you don't have an attorney, you likely get slammed at trial.
  • Sat, Mar 25 2006 4:17 PM In reply to

    • myrhonda
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    More [=+=] re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    AT the ALR the arresting officer admited he did not think I was intoxicated at the scene and made that determination at the hospital.
    Also at the hosp. I was handcuffed to the bed because I refused to sign for the blood draw without reading the form first however I did offer to take the breath test but was denied. Because I was cuffed to the bed and the officer would not allow the cuffs to be removed for me to use the restroom I was forced to use a bed pan. I found out when the bill came in that they had saved the urine and tested for pregnancy and all kinds of drugs all tests were negative. We have an expert who evaluated the tests and has said although there was no alchohol test done that something called a spec gravity can be used to indicate blood alchohol level and I would have been at abot a .02 The witness had not been drinking and is fact the bartender. Yes I do have an attorney but he says the decision is up to me. I just want some feedback as this is a very difficult decision to make. Thanks for any advice you can give me.
  • Sat, Mar 25 2006 4:53 PM In reply to


    re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    They don't need a test to get a conviction. You had an accident. All the DA has to show is that you were under the influence of alcohol such that you did not operate the vehicle as you should have--the accident sort of makes that point for him...
  • Sat, Mar 25 2006 6:05 PM In reply to

    • Ford
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    "AT the ALR the arresting officer admited he did not think I was intoxicated at the scene and made that determination at the hospital."

    That may be a suppression issue. In my state they have to suspect intoxication at the scene, unless you were transported to the hospital as an emergency measure.

    "Also at the hosp. I was handcuffed to the bed because"

    You were under arrest . . .

    "Because I was cuffed to the bed and the officer would not allow the cuffs to be removed for me to use the restroom I was forced to use a bed pan."

    I see that as a HUGE suppression issue.
  • Sat, Mar 25 2006 7:33 PM In reply to

    • myrhonda
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    What do you mean by suppression issue?
    I have had a clean record all of my life and am 42 yrs. old. This may seem like a dumb question but like I said I've never been in trouble before this. At the scene I asked for my husband to be called to transport me to the hosp. because I did not feel my injuries were life threatning. The officer said "you go with the EMS or go to jail" so I was transported by ambulance.
  • Sat, Mar 25 2006 8:32 PM In reply to

    • Ford
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    Suppression is where the judge rules that certain evidence may or may not be admitted at trial.

    With regard to the urinalysis, that's a medical test and it needs to be done with certain safeguards in place. It normally would be done like at the doc's office - with a plastic cup. Using a bedpan seems entirely problematic from the standpoint of protecting the integrity of the urine sample.
  • Sun, Mar 26 2006 6:43 PM In reply to

    re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    I agree with the others that there are issues for the prosecutor that probably account for the deal being offered in the first place and, at least, some of the evidence might be suppressed.

    However, were I on the jury, all I would need to hear is that you had an accident and admitted to having two Jack and Cokes.

    I would convict you of DUI in a heartbeat. As probably would a lot of people who are tired of drunk drivers littering the nation's highways with bodies.

    That may sound harsh but you have no business getting behind the wheel after ANY drink.

    If you go to trial and lose, the penalties may be the same or worse plus you'll end up paying 3 times the insurance rates for the next 3-5 years for the DUI.

    My opinion: Take the deal.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Mon, Mar 27 2006 12:35 AM In reply to

    • myrhonda
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    Disagree [)*(] re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    Why are you even on this message board? This is a place for legitimate advice, not preaching and condemnation! If you truly believe that no one should ever have even 1 drink and then drive we should outlaw all sales of alchohol in every restaurant and close every bar in this country!
  • Mon, Mar 27 2006 3:26 PM In reply to


    Disagree [)*(] re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    These boards are for general information and everyone is allowed to post. Jack is a valuable contributor and I'd suggest that his views are in the mainstream of those you will find on a jury if you elect to take this to trial. As I said, the fact that you had an accident speaks to your ability to control the vehicle....
  • Mon, Mar 27 2006 8:08 PM In reply to

    • Ford
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    Disagree [)*(] re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    Actually, a look into the mindset of a person who might be on a jury is quite valuable.

    Moreover, I can vouch for the fact that juries are conviction-heavy on DUIs. It's one of those crimes that begs for a conviction, because the injury is random and could happen to anyone.
  • Fri, Mar 31 2006 6:14 AM In reply to

    re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    >>> However, were I on the jury, all I would need to hear is that you had an accident and admitted to having two Jack and Cokes.

    I would convict you of DUI in a heartbeat. As probably would a lot of people who are tired of drunk drivers littering the nation's highways with bodies.

    That may sound harsh but you have no business getting behind the wheel after ANY drink. <<<

    Wow, so much for putting emotion aside and following what a juror's job is suppose to be - make decisions based on law. The law says .08 is drunk. Even MADD's crazy chart doesn't put someone at .08 after two drinks. In fact unless those were super-sized jack and cokes, it's impossible for someone to be .08 after two drinks. But we don't know the size of the drinks nor do we know the time limit in which they were consumed.

    Bottom line, as a juror you rule based on law. There is no law that says it's illegal to drink and than drive. No matter what your personal belief may be.

    This may sound harsh, but it's sad that alcohol has become such an issue over other issues that kill more people on the roadways. Why single out those that have been drinking? If we treated all people that cause an accident or that's driving dangerouly to the same treatment as those arrested for DUI, wouldn't we have safer roadways overall? Which I imagine is the goal, right?


  • Fri, Mar 31 2006 7:33 AM In reply to

    re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    >>> Yes I do have an attorney but he says the decision is up to me <<<

    You really need to get with your lawyer and find out what case he *thinks* the DA has against you. That type of response from your lawyer is unacceptable. The “up to you” decision should be based upon his guidance and advice. I’m not sure he’s given you that. I’m assuming you paid him money – money to be your legal guidance. “It’s up to you” means either he doesn’t know how to handle a trial or the meter has run out. Sorry, I just don’t understand his response.

    My biggest question would be why is the DA copping a plea in the 11th hour? Do they think they don't have a strong enough case against you? This “deal” looks real good for someone who was guilty. Personally, if I wasn’t guilty, I don’t think it’s a good deal at all – DWI classes, victim impact panel?? Are you going to lose your drivers’ license in this “deal”?

    Quite frankly, I’m more concerned with the lawyer you have. If at all possible, meet with another lawyer quick. Visit the NCDD website (Google it) and find a lawyer in your area that specializes in DUI laws. There are a lot is issues with your case that might be the reason the DA doesn’t want to go to trial and instead give you all these “deals” which in the end makes them save face with the MADD influence in your community.

    Good luck.
  • Fri, Mar 31 2006 10:46 AM In reply to


    Disagree [)*(] re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    --The law says .08 is drunk.

    The law does NOT say .08 is drunk. The law says if your BAC is .08 or above, you are presumed under the influence such that you are unable to properly operate a vehicle.

    --There is no law that says it's illegal to drink and than drive.

    Actually, it pretty much does. It is illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence where your ability to drive is impaired. You don't have to be anywhere near drunk. The ability to drive is compared in the law to the driving characteristics of the mythical prudent sober person.
  • Fri, Mar 31 2006 2:04 PM In reply to

    re: Obstruction of highway plea offered

    --The law says .08 is drunk.

    >>> The law does NOT say .08 is drunk. The law says if your BAC is .08 or above, you are presumed under the influence such that you are unable to properly operate a vehicle. <<<

    Actually, it’s called (ironically) illegal per se law. The court claims because your BAC results were .08 or over, therefore you’re too drunk to drive – or “under the influence”. I guess I’m old school – it used to be called “drunk”.

    Anything under .08 is considered a moment of true skill on the DA’s part. Prove the person was too impaired to drive. However anyone can be arrested for whatever number the officer thinks is good enough.

    --There is no law that says it's illegal to drink and than drive.

    >>> Actually, it pretty much does. It is illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence where your ability to drive is impaired. You don't have to be anywhere near drunk. The ability to drive is compared in the law to the driving characteristics of the mythical prudent sober person. <<<

    Oh yes, the mythical prudent sober person, of course. Would that be the same characteristics between Budda and Zen? And can you ask that person to get on the road again with us all?

    There are more impaired drivers than ever before and it has nothing to do with alcohol or drugs. Have you heard of road rage? 15 years ago it was unheard of. Today, it’s everywhere. I had a friend who was almost killed over road rage. Oh the guy was a “prudent sober person” yet he almost killed her. He wasn’t under the influence or impaired – he was just crazy. Aw, poor him. Maybe if he was presumed under the influence, someone would have given a crap. And the fact that he wasn’t convicted – or even arrested of anything and tossed in jail should make you want to question that. Unless, of course, alcohol is the only thing you have an issue with.

    I digress.

    You’re correct; it’s illegal to drive under the influence – as long as the prosecution can prove it. Let's get that straight. Under .08 the prosecution doesn't have the luxury of per say law.

    But it’s not illegal to drink and than drive. When people drink and wait to drive, an amazing thing happens, they’re not impaired. One drink - one and half hours – alcohol is gone. It is a proven scientific fact. The human body can metabolize alcohol (one drink) in 1.5 hours. Best bet is always wait two hours per drink to be safe.

    And apparently there's a whole culture who’s not even satisfied with that. Go figure.

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