Lawrence man exonerated after wrongful DUI conviction

| Jun 1, 2020 | DUI |

A drunk driving conviction can carry with it a certain stigma that can be difficult for people in Indiana to overcome. This is due to the assumption that many have that those who chose to drive after drinking demonstrate an indifference to the safety of others.

It is because of these potential consequences that law enforcement authorities must be extremely judicious in bringing such a charge against an individual. Scientific evidence should prompt police action, not generalized assumptions.

Reaction to medication results in DUI charge

It appears to have been just such an assumption that led to the conviction and sentencing of a Lawrence man for driving under the influence. Authorities arrested him while in the driveway of his father’s home. Tests reportedly showed that his blood alcohol level was well above the legal limit. He said that he was not intoxicated when he drove to the house earlier (although he drank beer after arriving). His high blood alcohol, he claimed, was due to a reaction his body experienced from the fentanyl patch he was wearing following a surgery. It was on the basis of having the fentanyl metabolite in his system that a local judge convicted him.

Challenging assumptions made about the law

An appellate court subsequently overturned his conviction, correctly stating that the law made no mention of driving with a prescribed drug in one’s system being illegal. Most likely assume that were they to encounter a similar situation, authorities would treat their cases objectively rather than relying on their own interpretation of the law (given everything that might be at stake for a defendant). One who believes that did not happen in their DUI case may want to seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.