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Matters of Witness-Testimony in an OUI Case

The prosecutor will sometimes have first-hand witnesses to what happened at the time of the incident of the alleged Operation Under the Influence (OUI). On the other hand, these witnesses maybe able to be discredited by witnesses of the defendant. The following is a checklist of different aspects of the incident that can be raised in direct/cross examination, for the purpose of determining whether the defendant is guilty of an OUI.



1. The identify of the person who operated of motor vehicle


2. The operation of the motor vehicle

  • whether the car had been observed traveling on the street

  • that the defendant had been behind wheel

  • that no other passengers/defendants had been on the scene

  • car engine running

  • keys had been placed in ignition


3. The public way

  • paved, marked lanes, trees, signs, traffic lights, houses, businesses, nearby intersection, maintained by the city/town/state

  • parking lot, shopping center, road in apartment complex used by public


4. The person had been under the influence

  • an odor of alcoholic beverage

  • red and/or glassy eyes

  • trouble retrieving license and registration

  • slurred speech

  • slow response to questions

  • admission to drinking—how much?

  • blank stare

  • unsteady on feet—stumbled, held onto car, swaying

  • mood swings, belligerent, arrogant, apologetic

  • field sobriety tests

  • opinion of witness

  • erratic operation:

  • crossed over marked lanes

  • speed too fast, slow, or changing

  • inappropriate stopping or signaling

  • went through light or stop sign

  • collision—damage to car(s)/signs/fence, etc.

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