On Friday March 21, after a 3 hour trial in the District Court of Maryland for Montgomery County, Houlon Berman’s 24 year old client was acquitted of charges of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Impaired (DWI).
The evidence at trial showed that the Defendant and his girlfriend, both of whom had been drinking, got into Defendant’s SUV to keep warm while waiting for a taxicab to pick them up. The vehicle was running and was not parked in a lawful parking space but had been seen by the arresting officer in the same spot near the curb in a residential neighborhood at least 30 minutes prior and the vehicle had not moved.
Defendant’s witnesses established that the vehicle had in fact been parked in the same spot 3 hours earlier, in front of one of the witnesses’ apartment building, while they walked to and from Rockville Town Center where they had been drinking.
The Court accepted the argument that it was the Defendant’s intention to shelter in his vehicle, that he intended to take a taxicab home and had no intention to drive. Under applicable Maryland case law, the Court ruled that Defendant had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have been driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle and was therefore acquitted on all counts.