On Friday, July 25, 2014 attorney Jim Medley stepped up to the plate for another client charged with a Harris County DWI. In this case, Harris County deputies followed the client to the hospital after a serious motorcycle accident. The client went to the hospital by ambulance. No one else was injured in the single vehicle crash.
Harris County deputies were asking questions of the EMS personnel and hospital staff. The officers were clearly trying to piece together a DWI charge. Since the client was in a hospital bed, officers could not administer normal sobriety exercises.
After a short while, the deputies told the client he was under arrest and they requested a blood test. The client exercises his Fourth Amendment rights and declined to give up his privacy.
The HCSO then contacted the District Attorney and got a search warrant for the client’s blood. The blood was drawn three hours after the accident. The result returned from the laboratory at .10g / 100 ml of blood.
This result is not the end of the inquiry. The prosecutor is required to present evidence that the client’s blood was greater than .08g / 100ml at the time the client was driving. The .10 represented the alcohol concentration at the time the blood was taken, which was after three hours.
A toxicologist employed by Harris County with a doctorate in Toxicology appeared in court to testify. The witness testified that the client would have been .13g / 100ml at the time of the accident. Left unquestioned, this testimony would have spelled DWI conviction for the client.
Then Jim Medley began his cross examination…
Armed with scientific studies on the time frame the human body requires to absorb, distribute, and eliminate alcohol, Mr. Medley demonstrated that this expert for the county did not know the science behind alcohol metabolism. By the end of the questioning, the doctor contracted herself many times and was left with no credibility. Ultimately, the witness admitted that she could not testify with forensic certainty that the client was .08 or more at the time of the accident.
The DWI case was dismissed after the expert testimony was suppressed by the judge.