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Saraceno wins DUI trial

Attorney Nick Saraceno won a not-guilty verdict Feb. 16 in Clark County District Court for a client charged with driving under the influence.

The client was arrested Sept. 2, 2023, after a Washington State Patrol trooper pulled him over for speeding on State Route 500. The trooper wrote in his report he used his radar to clock the client’s vehicle at 78 mph in a 55-mph zone. After he signaled for the client to pull over, the client did and answered the trooper’s questions. The trooper noted that there was a case of beer in the rear passenger seat, and he could smell an odor of intoxicants from the driver. He wrote that when he asked the driver for his registration and insurance, the driver’s movements were “slow and deliberate.” The driver subsequently agreed to do a portable breath test. The result of the PBT was .088, slightly above the legal limit of .08. The client also performed field-sobriety tests. He told the trooper that he’d had a few beers earlier in the evening.

After he was taken into custody, the driver did two breath tests at a WSP office. The results of both tests were lower than the legal limit.

At trial, Saraceno argued that everything the officer cited as proof of intoxication – mostly the client’s performance on the walk-and-turn and one-legged stand – could easily have been a product of if being 2:20 a.m. and the fact his client was only 22 and nervous that he was driving a new car with no proof of insurance or registration. The only driving violation the trooper observed was speeding, not swerving or any other maneuvers that could be signs of inebriated driving, he told the jury.

Also, he reminded jurors, the breath samples his client gave at the WSP office were below the legal limit.

The jurors deliberated approximately 25 minutes before acquitting his client.

Tags: criminal law, not guilty, DUI, Clark County, District Court

Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.: Vancouver Defenders Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.
Vancouver Defenders