I apologize for not posting a lot lately. The jury brought in a guilty verdict on a DUI case, and that always has me thinking: Why did they do that? I become a little introspective. The City of McHenry has an officer who has been on the force for 16 years, 13 of those on the night (DUI) shift. He is trained to train people how to do field sobriety tests. My client did well on the tests but the jury still found him guilty.
Under Illinois law a person is under the influence if their ability to think and act with ordinary care has been affected by consumption of any amount of alcohol.
It’s funny to listen to attorneys during trials because prosecutors will emphasize the words ANY AMOUNT of alcohol, and defense attorneys will emphasize ORDINARY CARE. Very predictable.
However, in cases that have no chemical testing and no admission to being intoxicated, it should be very difficult for the state to prevail because of the burden of proving the case rests on them. But, sometimes they win anyways. Attorneys will think about losses 10 times more than they do wins.
In cases that have very light evidence of intoxication, I believe that there is a bias against the defendant. Here’s what I mean: the jury is more likely to consider the arrest as some evidence against the defendant where the evidence is thin. That thoughts of “Well the police officer was there, and I wasn’t” creep into their minds. They may forget that the burden is on the state to show that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.