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Jury Acquits Taylor Man Of Drunk-Driving Charge

Police officer concedes he did not see car moving but insists he saw the defendant making a motion, as if turning off the ignition.

Confusion over whether a Taylor man was actually the driver of a car at the time he was arrested for drunken driving led to his acquittal Thursday in Lackawanna County Court.

A blood test placed the defendant over the legal limit for driving a car. Two Scranton police officers testified that the defendant, who was suffering from a head injury, admitted to them and a nurse that he had driven the car. One of the investigating officers, under cross-examination by attorney Patrick M. Rogan, conceded that he never saw the car move in the parking lot, but insisted that he saw the defendant making the “motion of someone turning off the ignition” of a car.

The jury asked the judge about whether being behind the wheel and even turning off the ignition of a car while intoxicated proves drunken driving. When the judge answered no, they quickly returned the not-guilty verdict.

The Tribune, November 17, 1995

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