A 22-year-old woman has been arrested in Gaston County, North Carolina, and accused by police of what they claim is her third time driving intoxicated this year. They say that she stated that she had consumed about three beers that evening and had failed to eat dinner. She also said, however, that she had not consumed any alcohol at all for a full hour and a half before getting into her car to drive from an area near Charlotte to Gastonia.
During her trip, a police officer claimed to have seen her car speeding 49 m.p.h. in a 35 m.p.h. zone at approximately 2:42 a.m. and stopped her vehicle. The officer asserted that she smelled of alcohol, and she was arrested for drunk driving after a breath test allegedly resulted in a reading of 0.11, above the legal limit of 0.08.
News reports indicated that all three DWI cases were still pending. The reporting of the multiple cases, one of which took place in Mecklenburg and the other two in Gaston County, could potentially bias a juror who read the news accounts. An arrest for a crime is not the same as a conviction, and the issue in any trial would be the truth or falsity of the particular accusation. Everyone accused of a suspected crime is entitled to a presumption of innocence unless their guilt can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by relevant and admissible evidence. Criminal defense attorneys often attack the admissibility of such evidence and work diligently to protect their clients' rights before and during court proceedings.
Source: Gaston Gazette, "Woman gets third DWI while on way to bail friends out of jail" Kevin Ellis, Nov. 15, 2013