On March 16, 2014 FA (a 28 year old male auto mechanic from Malden) was arrested in Wakefield at about 5:30 AM and charged with OUI Liquor, 2nd Offense. FA had been at a friend’s house playing video games and had consumed several beers during the course of the night. He and his host and another friend fell asleep at around 2:00 AM. FA awoke at about 5:00 AM and with one friend decided to drive to his own home. FA and the friend got into FA’s car. FA pulled down the street took a right turn and suddenly went across the road into a utility pole. FA, who had not been wearing his seat belt, hit his head against the windshield and had a head injury. The police, fire, and EMTs all responded to the accident scene. FA declined medical treatment. The police smelled liquor on FA’s breath, claimed he was unsteady and was slurring his speech. Field sobriety tests were administered which FA could not do. He was arrested for OUI Liquor. A record search by the police revealed a prior OUI conviction from 2005. FA was brought to the Wakefield Police Station and declined to take a breath test. As a result of refusing the breath test his license was revoked for three years. FA went to Malden Court the next morning and was arraigned and his case was continued for pre-trial. FA sought out Attorney Robert Lewin.
Attorney Lewin took a detailed statement of the facts and then spoke with FA’s two friends. It became clear to Attorney Lewin that FA’s case was a very triable case. The crash of the car into the utility pole could be explained by a broken tie rod. His unsteadiness and slurred speech were the results of the head injuries he sustained in the accident. The poor performance on the field sobriety tests was directly related to (1) his injuries in the accident and (2) the fact that it was very cold outside and he was dressed only in dress pants and a dress shirt. No sweater or jacket. Attorney Lewin also turned the focus back onto the Wakefield Police. That police station is loaded with video cameras and video monitors; yet the officers testified that they were unaware if the video system had the ability to record. That was testimony the jury must have found hard to believe. After an all day trial on June 24, 2014 the case went to the jury at 4:00 PM; at 4:35 PM the jury came in with a NOT Guilty verdict.
The OUI Law permits (but does not require) the trial judge to order the Registry of Motor Vehicles to reinstate an accused’s license following a NOT Guilty verdict. On July 8, 2014 FA and Attorney Lewin appeared before the trial Judge and after a hearing the Judge granted Attorney Lewin’s Motion to restore FA’s License. FA left the court house, gave Attorney Lewin a big “thank you” and headed for the Registry to get his license.