I was a juror in the DUI case held in state court last week. I am also the mother of four and am very against drinking and driving. I know that this is murder on our streets and my children have been told time and again that they would be in the worst kind of trouble if they ever did drink and drive or even get into a car with a person under the influence of alcohol.
As for the charges against this particular man, the judge dropped the two counts of child endangerment charges. The police officers failed to obtain the correct information needed to prosecute these charges. It was not a cut and dry case.
There were many other things to consider. The man was in the process of a divorce from his now ex-wife and it appears to have been an extremely nasty situation. I have seen others in such nasty divorce situations and it seems anything goes. We, the jury, did not have evidence enough to convict this man of the charge of DUI.
The police officers did have a video, but it was turned on after all of the field sobriety tests were completed. Without this evidence combined with the other information brought out in his trial, we could not find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He may have been drinking, but the law states that just proof of having had a drink without proof of impairment does not make a person guilty of DUI. We never had proof of impairment.
I believe that the six jurors, in this case, were very fair and would have made the correct decision in any trial. It was an honor to meet and know that there are very open-minded and fair citizens in our community that would have made the right call had the evidence been more clear. Hopefully, these officers will know that we needed to see the field sobriety testing and will think about that in future cases.
Also, I would like to give a big thanks to both these officers and all of our law enforcement professionals. You guys do the best you can at keeping our community and roads safe. And thank you, Mothers, Against Drunk Drivers. I’m just sorry this did not seem fair to you. As I have stated, I am a mother who cares also.
Jurors are fair. Jurors weigh the evidence. Jurors don’t act on emotion. That is why jurors decide guilt with common sense and reason and not the media with their “a little learning is a dangerous thing” soundbite culture. Bad prosecutions make bad laws.