Thursday, February 18, 2010

How Many Quarts?

I represented a guy in Court a couple of months ago who was charged with Public Intoxication. The affidavit of complaint stated the following (paraphrased of course):The Defendant showed up at booking belligerent, banging on the window, demanding to be allowed in. Upon questioning, it was found out that the Defendant had consumed 14 quarts of beer & had nowhere to go as he was homeless. When I read the affidavit, I assumed that the Defendant was too drunk to realize what he was saying. I went to speak with him & asked him how much he had to drink that night & he answered, "About 14 quarts." He made no excuses as to his actions & acted as though drinking that much beer was not unusual.

I tried to get his charged dismissed. After all, he did essentially turn himself in but my client is well-known and the DA would not agree. However, the DA did agree that he could be released on time served.

I called my client before the Judge to enter his plea. Greetings between the Judge and Defendant were exchanged and I informed the Court that my client was pleading guilty as charged and explained the agreed sentenced. The Judge read over the affidavit & asked the following question: "How much did you have to drink that night?" To which my client, without hesitation answered, "12 - 14 quarts".

There was no misunderstanding with my client & he was not to drunk to know how much he had to drink that night. I couldn't help but think of the Andy Griffith Show & a certain character by the name of Otis...

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