Meyer wins quick verdict in DUI trial
Attorney Zeed Meyer won a quick decision in a DUI trial earlier this month. Jurors deliberated only 20 minutes before returning a “not guilty” verdict.
Meyer’s client was stopped for speeding on state Highway 14. A Washington State trooper clocked him driving 73 mph, 13 miles over the limit. It was about 10 p.m. The trooper said he detected the odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath, and said the driver acknowledged having a few glasses of wine earlier in the day.
The driver couldn’t keep his balance during field sobriety tests and his pupils were pinpricks, both signs of intoxication, the trooper noted in his report. The driver agreed to a breath test, the results of which showed he had alcohol in his system but the amount was below the legal limit.
The trooper decided the driver was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
The driver, a cancer survivor, told the trooper he takes multiple prescription medications.
The trooper conducted drug recognition tests and concluded the driver was under the influence of a drug that acts as a depressant on the central nervous system.
The driver agreed to a blood test, which came back negative for drugs.
At the Aug. 8 trial in Clark County District Court, the trooper testified there were other signs of impaired driving in addition to speeding, but the video from his dashboard camera didn’t show any bad driving.
Jurors heard that Meyer’s client has a medical condition that causes his pupils to remain tiny – one of the signs the trooper used to justify citing the driver for DUI. The condition stems from a blocked artery, a side effect from chemotherapy.
Jurors also heard from a state toxicologist, who said one of the medications the client takes can exacerbate the effect of alcohol, but the amount found in the blood sample was so low the crime lab considers it a “non-reportable” level.
The client’s doctor testified that the drug in question is an antidepressant and does not act as a depressant on the central nervous system or intensify the effect of alcohol.
Meyer said the state’s case was all tell, no show. The six members of the jury voted unanimously to acquit his client.
A DUI is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a license suspension.