Albert L. Wysocki, A Professional Corporation
Last summer, a tragic boating accident in Lake County resulted in the death of a 10-year-old boy. Many of our readers may remember hearing about the accident. On July 28, the boy had been riding on an inner tube that was being pulled by a boat on Petite Lake. The Chicago Tribune reported that the boy fell off the tube and was then run over by another boat.
Police administered field sobriety tests after the accident happened, and the boater who had accidentally hit the boy had allegedly passed some of the tests. However, police still suspected that the boater had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the accident happened. The boater was arrested and later charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI.
Four hours after the fatal boating accident happened, the boater’s blood was drawn. The man’s attorney claims that the defendant did not consent to the blood test, and now the attorney is requesting that the blood-alcohol level test be suppressed before the defendant’s case goes to trial in May.
Investigators claim that the defendant had been operating the boat while he was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. The man’s blood test revealed that four hours after the fatal crash, the man’s blood-alcohol level was 0.052, which is under the legal limit. However, it is being argued that the man’s blood-alcohol level was really between 0.09 and .128 at the time of the crash. Experts have used a mathematical process called retrograde extrapolation to determine what the defendant’s blood-alcohol level was four hours before the man’s blood had been drawn.
The man’s attorney claims that this calculation is not accurate because individuals process alcohol differently, some more slowly than others. Additionally, the man’s attorney is arguing that boating fumes may have affected the results of the defendant’s blood test. The attorney is asking that the blood test results be suppressed because authorities did not follow proper procedures before the test was administered and because the results of the blood test and calculations of the man’s blood-alcohol levels may not be accurate.
Source: Lake County News-Sun, “Petite Lake boater wants blood-alcohol tests tossed,” Beth Kramer, Feb. 20, 2013