On Monday, our legal team scored another dismissal of a medication related Harris county DWI charge. Even though the government had a blood test result showing Soma, Valium, and hydrocodone in our client’s system, the State could not prove their case. There was further video evidence showing that our client could not walk a straight line or stand on one foot.
Where did the police go wrong?
Criminal charges of DWI / DUI involving drugs or medications are complex situations. These arrests usually involve a driver who is dealing with injuries, illness, or other problems with their health that cause them to perform exercises and police tests worse than most well drivers. When the mention of medication or drugs come into the discussion, officers often jump to conclusions about the cause of the driver’s condition. Unfortunately, police officers are not trained to diagnose medical conditions. This ignorance can lead to an ill or injured person to find themselves in jail when they need to be taken to a hospital.
In our case, the police did take our client to the hospital. Once at a place where he could have been assesed by medical professionals, the officer only asked the nurse to take a blood sample to test for medications. No medical evaluation was performed whatsoever. In spite of the presence of a wealth of physicians and the most modern equipment available, no attempt was made to do anything other than to try to prove a DUI case.
Officer Drugged Driving Training
Many officers do attend training that at least leads them to believe they can assess the influence of drugs or medications on a person. These officers are trained to call themselves Drug Recognition Experts (DREs). As I have written about before on this blog, this DRE training largely provides officers with false confidence in their ability to discern drug influence from all medical conditions and differences in physical abilities. In our case today, though, the officer did not even resort to this limited police training.
Harris County Prosecutor Did the Right Thing
Only after many months of argument, the Harris County prosecutor in charge of the case dismissed the prosecution. We know the cititizens of Harris county and Houston appreciate the integrity it takes for a prosecutor to dismiss a DWI / DUI case when there is so much political pressure to pursue these cases aggressively. Our client appreciates it and we applaud the integrity required to dismiss such a charge.