In a recent case coming out of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his DWI conviction. Originally, a police officer found the defendant sleeping in his car, and upon several sobriety tests, the officer discovered that the defendant was intoxicated. The defendant was charged and convicted of driving while intoxicated. He appealed, arguing that there was not enough evidence to support the guilty finding. The court of appeals considered the defendant’s argument but ultimately denied it, concluding that the court could reasonably infer his guilt based on the facts presented by the officer.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, late one night in 2019, an officer was dispatched to investigate a report of two people asleep in their car. The officer found the reported vehicle partially parked on the sidewalk of a public street. Inside, the defendant and his girlfriend were both asleep. The car engine was off, but the gearshift was in the drive position and the headlights were on. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer smelled alcohol coming from inside.
The defendant woke up and agreed to provide a breath sample for the officer. After the breath test, the defendant admitted to the officer that he was likely over the legal limit. He also stated repeatedly that he knew he had messed up. The officer informed the defendant that his preliminary breath test result was .11, substantially over the legal limit of .08. The officer arrested the defendant for DWI.