DUI Case Summaries
State v. CW, (Rockingham County — December 2009): Attorney Albert Hansen represented this 60-year-old diabetic charged with second DWI (outside 2-year look back, but within 10 years) (with a third conviction outside the 10-year look back). The defendant allegedly refused breath testing. So, in addition to the mandatory 2-year Administrative Loss of License (LOL), CW faced a mandatory 3-year court-imposed LOL (5-year LOL in total), a 3-day jail sentence, and an unknown amount of residential treatment. CW having already completed the 7-day multiple offender program (MOP). In addition, a conviction would have resulted in CW being certified as a habitual offender, resulting in an additional 1-4 year LOL. The state offered to recommend the mandatory minimums if CW pled guilty as charged. On advice of counsel, CW rejected the state’s offer. A trial ensued. Attorney Hansen’s aggressive preparation included, but was not limited to, visiting the scene of the alleged crime and retracing CW’s steps/driving the night of the arrest. Attorney Hansen engaged in extensive research on diabetes, including the possible presence the night of the arrest of ketones/ketoacids (waste product diabetic body produces when fats are broken down for energy due to low levels of insulin) which if present can cause a peculiar odor easily confused with an odor of alcohol, as well as dizziness and confusion. Because attorney Hansen had visited the scene of the alleged crime, he was able to cross-examine the arresting officer extensively and effectively in order to demonstrate that CW may not have been operating erratically as the arresting officer had alleged. In addition, attorney Hansen subpoenaed CW’s primary care physician who was permitted to testify about CW’s diabetes and the aforementioned issues related to the case. Result: n ot guilty.
State v. CP, (Merrimack County — November 2009): Attorney Hansen represented this 20-year-old accused of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, Driving Under the Influence of a controlled drug, and Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and controlled drugs brought as alternate theories. CP had allegedly performed poorly on FSTs after being stopped for a headlight out. Because CP was under the age of 21, he faced a mandatory minimum one-year court-imposed LOL, coupled with a 6-month administrative LOL because he had allegedly refused to take a breath test. The state refused to drop the charge to a reckless operation and insisted on a guilty plea to the under 21-year-old mandatory minimums and agreed not to bring forward a 6-month suspended jail sentence that was hanging over CP’s head as a result of a previous, unrelated conviction. On advice of counsel, CP rejected the state’s offer. A trial ensued. Result: n ot guilty.
State v. SS, (Rockingham County — September 2009): This 46-year-old was charged with Driving Under the Influence of drugs or liquor after being involved in a motor vehicle accident, performing poorly on field sobriety tests, admitting to having consumed a “large” glass of red wine, and the officer’s observations that SS had spilled the wine on her shirt. Attorney Hansen negotiated a plea bargain, which resulted in the DWI being nol-prossed (dropped) in exchange for a plea to negligent operation with a $250 fine and no license loss. Result: Nolo plea to negligent operation.
State v. RA, (Carroll County — August 2007): The state police charged RA with the felony offense of driving after being certified as a habitual offender, second DWI, and open container after a state trooper approached RA’s vehicle, which was parked on an access road overlooking Chocorua Lake. This was RA’s fifth DWI. Not surprisingly, the state was looking for 2-5 stand committed at the New Hampshire state prison if RA agreed to plead guilty. Attorney Albert Hansen filed a thoroughly researched motion to suppress, attacking the trooper’s initial encounter with RA. The prosecutor refused to bend on her offer and asserted that she was “not concerned” about the issues raised in the motion. After a full-blown evidentiary hearing, the court granted the motion and the state was forced to drop all charges for lack of evidence. Result: all charges dropped.