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Trial excerpts

How to defend an accused drunk driver

A 23-year-old financial worker almost caused an accident, failed field sobriety tests and blew .25 on the breathalyzer test. But this top OUI defense attorney got the driver acquitted.

The cross-examination

“Consistent with someone who was not impaired by alcohol.”

Police said the driver of a Jeep nearly caused a head-on collision in Plymouth at 1 a.m. in May 2010. The suspect said he had been drinking beer, failed three field sobriety test, and told a police officer several times, 'you got me.' He blew .25 on a breath test, more than three times the legal limit.

In court a year later, his defense attorney, Stephen L. Jones, got the breathalyzer results suppressed because police failed to follow procedures.

Then, Jones cross examined the arresting officer, James Vachon. The attorney emphasized his client's fatigue, and the things that he did correctly.

Defense
Officer
Defense
Officer

No.

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Defense
Officer

No.

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Defense
Officer

He did.

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Defense
Officer
Defense
Officer

No.

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Defense
Officer
Defense
Officer

I did not.

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Defense
Officer

I did not.

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Defense
Officer

Correct.

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Getting out of the vehicle

“As you'd expect a sober individual to walk.”

Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

No.

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Defense
Officer
Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

Correct.

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Defense
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Defense
Officer
The alphabet test

“Did you ask him if he was nervous?”

Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

I did.

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Defense
Officer

He did.

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Defense
Officer

Correct.

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Defense
Officer

I did not.

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Defense
Officer
The one-legged stand test

“Did you ask him why he couldn't do it?”

Defense
Officer

I did not.

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Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer
Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer

It might.

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Defense
Officer

I had not.

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Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer
Defense
Officer

Correct.

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During this test, the defendant was supposed to count to thirty before putting his foot down.

Defense
Officer

I did not.

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Defense
Officer
The walk-and-turn test

“You didn't use the word 'touch' in your instructions.”

Defense
Officer
Defense
Officer
Defense
Officer

Yes.

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Defense
Officer
Defense
Officer
Defense
Officer

I did.

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Defense
Officer

After each side's closing arguments, Judge Kathryn E. Hand finds the defendant not guilty.

Tom Giratikanon and Grant Staublin / Globe Staff
Source: Audio recording of trial, police reports
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