Dan Russo Secures Not Guilty Verdict in DWI Case
In Case Involving Refusal to Take Breath Test Due to Health Reasons, Client Receives Not Guilty Verdict for Both DWI and Driving While Impaired
CMG Associate and one of New York’s top DWI attorneys Dan Russo secured a significant win in court in a case involving DWI charges and his client’s refusal to submit to a Breathalyzer or standardized field sobriety tests due to health reasons. The case represents an important win, not only for this particular client, but in terms of potentially impacting future cases where an individual refuses on-site DWI testing due to legitimate health issues.
The case involved a 68 year old woman pulled over for speeding and swerving, who, when asked to take a breath test and standardized field sobriety tests, refused – and was subsequently charged with DWI. Her refusal to take the tests, however, was not based on a fear of the results; she refused the tests due to physical limitations and health disabilities that prevented her from being able to actually take both sets of tests. Based on the client’s refusal and the arresting officers’ alleged observations, the arresting officers charged the client with DWI and related charges. Fortunately, this 68 year old woman with significant physical disabilities and health issues sought legal counsel from Long Island defense attorney Dan Russo and Collins, McDonald & Gann.
In the resulting bench trial, Dan presented evidence showing that his client’s refusal to take the breath test and field sobriety tests could not have been prevented but were the result of her physical limitations and the true reason for refusing the DWI testing. During the trial, Dan was able to demonstrate to the judge how his client’s battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) — a serious, long-term lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe — made it physically impossible for his client to try to attempt to blow into the breathalyzer. In addition, the client had also undergone several knee surgeries, including a knee replacement, and was faced with long-term consequences from that surgery. As such, her physical condition rendered her unable to successfully attempt the requisite field sobriety tests. Despite telling the arresting officers of her conditions, the officers deemed her inability to do so a “refusal” to do so.
Upon Dan’s challenging of the prosecution’s evidence and the presenting of the defense’s own unique evidence, the judge found Dan’s client not guilty of both Driving While Intoxicated and Driving While Ability Impaired. Dan’s DWI defense of his client’s situation – the physical limitations that prevented the client from taking both the Breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, as well as his cross-examination of the officers involved in this arrest – resulted in a not guilty verdict on all charges for his client. Additionally, this case may serve as a blueprint for future DWI cases when a client refuses to submit to a Breathalyzer and standardized field sobriety tests due to physical obstacles.
Dan and CMG’s team of attorneys concentrating in New York DWI defense have decades of experience in representing a wide variety of cases involving DWI charges in New York and, as in this case, are experienced in challenging the government’s evidence while successfully presenting their own — all with the goal of obtaining not guilty verdicts. For this 68 year old woman with significant health issues, being found not guilty on all DWI charges was a much welcomed relief – and Dan’s defense highlighting her health limitations was critical in obtaining this not guilty verdict.
If you or someone you know is faced with DWI charges in New York, or if you have refused a Breathalyzer or standardized field sobriety testing and are considering next steps, CMG’s team of defense attorneys are available 24/7 for questions and experienced DWI legal counsel. Call us anytime at 516-294-0300, and see how we may be able to help in your particular NY DWI case.