Outcome: Not Guilty
Description: Client, a 41-year-old laborer, was parked in the entrance-way of a church parking lot, asleep inside. The key was in the ignition, but the engine was off. Additionally, there were no lights on inside the car. He was approached by 5 local police officers and removed from the car. He displayed all the signs of alcohol impairment – strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech. He admitted to drinking two beers after work. He submitted to a breath test, the results of which were .17. The primary issue at trial was whether he was “operating” the car. The definition of “operation” in Massachusetts is not defendant-friendly. Nevertheless, after two hours of deliberation, he was found Not Guilty.