Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. Last man remaining at accident scene was accused of operating while intoxicated despite the fact that all evidence pointed to someone else as the driver.
Des Moines Police Department responded to a traffic accident where a vehicle struck a parked vehicle. When law enforcement arrived, nobody was in the vehicle. GRL Law’s client who was the passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident, remained on the scene as required by law. The driver fled. A witness to the accident repeatedly told law enforcement that GRL Law’s client exited from the passenger side of the vehicle. When law enforcement searched the vehicle, they found his cellphone between the front passenger seat and the front passenger door. The driver’s seat was also positioned for an driver who was significantly shorter than GRL Law’s client. Despite all of the available objective evidence, law enforcement arrested and accused GRL Law’s client of Operating While Intoxicated. After his arrest, GRL Law’s client even told law enforcement who was driving at the time of the accident. Law enforcement failed to follow up to determine who the actual driver was.
GRL Law contested the charges and the license suspension that arose out of the false accusations. Thankfully the Department of Transportation set aside the license revocation and the prosecutor paid attention to the objective evidence. The Operating While Intoxicated offense was amended to a simple misdemeanor Public Intoxication with a small fine.