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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    dallas, tx
    Posts
    3

    Default DUI hearing. "Night Blindness" as a defense?

    I'm sure I'm not the first one to ask; but I did not see this posted in any recent posts... My girlfriend is going to have a DUI trial next month and I'm trying to help her as much as possible. Wondering is the worst so I was curious if what her lawyer is trying to pull together as a defense is reasonable or just reaching for anything.

    Regardless of all the details, she has ALWAYS complained about bad night vision. I remember months before she was pulled over she used to drive us at night and I would complain how terrible her driving was because she couldn't even stay in a lane. Her lawyer wants her to see an eye doctor to get proof that her night vision is "night blindness". From what I've read on the Internet, it is a true medical problem, but is it something that a judge has heard a million times and will just go in one ear and out the other? I know I see her case on a personal level and I believe her and have seen her night driving. Just wondering if this could help her case or they would just laugh at it?

    Thank you for any information you can provide!

    Take care,

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Night Blindness

    If she does have night blindness or a similar condition, and her blood alcohol levels were below the "per se" limits which might permit conviction on that basis alone, it may well help her to be able to prove to the court that it was her vision that affected her driving.

    (On a side note, though, if her vision is so bad that she can't stay in a lane at night, even when sober, she shouldn't be driving at night.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    dallas, tx
    Posts
    3

    Default

    She also has a cousin and her cousin's boyfriend who were with her until the moment she drove home the night she was pulled over. They both will be in court to say she was not drinking. Hopefully that will help too?

    Oh, I completly agree. Her license was taken away after the ALR hearing a few weeks ago so I at least don't have to worry about her night driving for a few months.

    The other thing I worry about is she is under the legal age to drink and refused to take the breath test. From what I have read that makes you guilty because they have no other way to test if you've been drinking, right? She was under the impression that she should refuse the test until she spoke with a lawyer. She was scared because she is already on probation and did not want to make any moves without consulting someone. We're going to an optometrist this weekend so hopefully his results will be in her favor and it might sway the jury's opinion enough to not convict her.

    I hate to keep asking questions, but incase you know... If she is convicted of a DUI is it mandatory her probation is violated or can they set separate charges and have her be punished for the DUI and not be sent to jail for the prior conviction? She is currently on probation for felony assault (long story involving an abusive ex-boyfriend) but was not convicted. They put her on some kind of deffered probation? Anyway, from what she thinks, if she is convicted of the DUI it violates her felony and she would go to jail for 2-20years. If she is convicted of the DUI I agree that she should be punished but 2-20years because of a probation violation seems so harsh. I would hope they put her in some kind of alcohol awarness classes, or some scared stright program, or community service, anything else besides sitting in a cell and rotting. Something that might help change her thinking to stay out of trouble and help the community at the same time. There are so many people already in jail doing nothing but waiting to get out and sticking a 19 year old in jail for 2-20 seems so pointless.



    Thanks for your time!

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default

    Quote Quoting jgreen6699
    If she is convicted of a DUI is it mandatory her probation is violated or can they set separate charges and have her be punished for the DUI and not be sent to jail for the prior conviction?
    She can be violated in relation to her probation even if she is acquitted of DUI. Often, terms of probation include staying out of legal trouble or cooperating with law enforcement officers, which can be enforced even if charges don't result from a later incident.

    From what you say, she needs to consult a criminal defense lawyer - and the sooner, the better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    dallas, tx
    Posts
    3

    Default

    That makes a lot of sense. I can see how they would be upset with someone on probation not working with an officer and taking the breath test or field tests. It's so much easier to just stay out of trouble!

    Thank you for all your help. This is a great site!

    Jeff

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