Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum  

Go Back   Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum > Speed Trap & Traffic Enforcement > Economics & Politics
Radar Detectors Forum Logon:


Economics & Politics Discussion of the economic and political market driving factors of automated enforcement technology.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2010-01-26
NMA Reporter NMA Reporter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: 2008 Feb
Posts: 125
NMA Reporter is on a distinguished road
Exclamation Minnesota Supreme Court Rules DUI Possible in Inoperable Vehicle

Article: Minnesota Supreme Court Rules DUI Possible in Inoperable Vehicle

Justice Alan C. PageThe Supreme Court of Minnesota on Thursday upheld the drunk driving conviction of a man caught asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle that would not start. At 11:30pm on June 11, 2007, police found Daryl Fleck sleeping in his own legally parked car in his apartment complex parking lot. The vehicle's engine was cold to the touch, indicating it had not been driven recently. The keys were in the center console, not the ignition. Fleck admitted to having consumed around a dozen beers that night. Officers at the scene arrested him, and his blood alcohol level was found to be .18. A few weeks after Fleck's vehicle was impounded, a police officer tested the vehicle using the keys found in the car's center console.

"Although the key turned in the ignition, the vehicle would not start," Justice Alan C. Page explained in the unanimous decision.

Laws covering driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) have evolved over the years to cover the situations where police find a parked, but recently driven, vehicle with a drunk behind the wheel. In the 1992 case Minnesota v. Starfield, the court found a drunk passenger sitting in a vehicle stuck in a ditch guilty of DUI, but not because it could prove she really was the one who drove and caused the accident. Instead, the court ruled that "towing assistance [was] likely available" creating the theoretical possibility that the immobile vehicle could "easily" be made mobile. These defendants have been charged under an expanded definition that suggests having "dominion and control" with the mere potential to drive is a crime. Intending to sleep off a night of drinking treated as the same crime as attempting to drive home under this legal theory which does not take motive into account.

As Fleck was an unsympathetic figure with multiple DUI convictions in his past, prosecutors had no problem convincing a jury to convict. The court took up Fleck's case to expand the precedent to cover the case of mere presence in an undriven -- and perhaps undrivable -- car into the definition of drunk driving. The court relied on Fleck's drunken claim that his car was operable to set aside the physical evidence to the contrary.

"Although the facts of this case are not those of the typical physical control case in which a jury can infer that the defendant was in physical control because he drove the vehicle to where it came to rest, a jury could reasonably find that Fleck, having been found intoxicated, alone, and sleeping behind the wheel of his own vehicle with the keys in the vehicle's console, was in a position to exercise dominion or control over the vehicle and that he could, without too much difficulty, make the vehicle a source of danger," Page wrote. "Based on the totality of the circumstances, the facts in the record, and the legitimate inferences drawn from them, we hold that a jury could reasonably conclude that Fleck was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of being in physical control of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more."

Fleck's three prior convictions elevated his sentence to a felony for which the trial judge imposed four years in prison. A copy of the decision is available in a 90k PDF file at the source link below. Source
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Minnesota Supreme Court: State Can Grab Cars from Innocent Owners NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2009-12-25 13:22
Minnesota Supreme Court: State Can Grab Cars from Innocent Owners NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2009-12-25 13:21
How To Find Your State’s Vehicle Code NMA Reporter NMA Articles 0 2009-10-23 14:20
Minnesota Supreme Court Orders Access to Breathalyzer Source Code NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2009-05-04 20:02
Trial By Declaration: Fight A Traffic Ticket Without Going To Court NMA Reporter NMA Articles 0 2008-05-17 19:37


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 00:55.


©2019 SpeedTrapHunter