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View Full Version : Man who wasn't driving convicted of DWI



gskibum
11-22-2009, 10:13 AM
Video at link (http://www.KOB.com/article/stories/S1268275.shtml?cat=500)


A disabled Vietnam veteran says he chose to do the right thing after a night of drinking by not getting on the road drunk. He was arrested for DWI anyway, and convicted by a judge.

Fidencio Francia said, "I had made up my mind: I wasn't driving. All I did is went to my truck, got in it, and went to sleep."

Francia says he didn't want to put his life, or anyone else's, in danger by driving drunk— but a judge says the law is clear, and Francia is guilty of DWI.

"I didn't wanna hurt anyone, because I felt I wasn't gonna be able to drive safe," Francia said.

Fighting back tears, Francia says he's no criminal, but in August of 2008, he was arrested for DWI after blowing a .13.

Last week, a judge found him guilty.

Francia says the conviction is just plain wrong, because he wasn't even driving.

Francia said, "I coulda got in my truck and started it and tried to drive away, but I didn't."

Francia says he drank a Jack and Coke and two beers at the American Legion Post 99 in Albuquerque. The Edgewood man says he knew there was no way he could make it home safely.

"I could either hurt myself or hurt someone else, and that I didn't want to do that," Francia said. "So that was my main purpose not to drive."

Francia says he got in his truck, placed his keys under a pillow he keeps in the center console, and went to sleep with the intentions of driving home the next morning.

Two hours later, an Albuquerque police officer came knocking on his window, and did a field sobriety test on Francia. He failed and was arrested.

"'If you drink, you drive, you lose…' Well, they gotta add that you cannot fall asleep in your vehicle," Francia said.

We sat down with District Attorney Kari Brandenburg to ask how Francia could be charged and convicted of DWI when he didn't even have the keys in the ignition.

Brandenburg said, "Well, I appreciate that he wasn't driving and putting everyone at risk, but New Mexico case law says that if he's in control of the vehicle, meaning he's in the driver seat and has access to the keys, and can turn that vehicle on and operate it, then he is in fact guilty of DWI.

Francia's daughter says she is proud of him for making the decision to not drink and drive.

Amanda Francia said, "Maybe the state feels that he broke the law, but I think that I'm very proud of him… That he can sleep at night knowing that he made the right choice and he didn't hurt anybody."

A judge agreed with the district attorney, citing case law as the reason for finding Francia guilty.

Francia has not been sentenced, but faces up to 90 days in jail.

His attorney says after sentencing, he will file an appeal.

I so detest the liberal-run judicial system in this liberal-run state.

Rockntractor
11-22-2009, 10:17 AM
Mindless blob of flesh sitting at the bench dispensing justice!

Big Guy
11-22-2009, 10:31 AM
This is where we deal with the "Letter of the law" vs "Spirit of the Law".

The letter of the law, "case law says that if he's in control of the vehicle, meaning he's in the driver seat and has access to the keys, and can turn that vehicle on and operate it, then he is in fact guilty of DWI."

Then there is the Spirit of the Law; What this is for is when someone passes out in the drivers seat of a vehicle while they were attempting to drive off while intoxicated.

The lib's use only the letter of the law because they aren't smart enough to tell the difference.

FeebMaster
11-22-2009, 11:13 AM
Happens all the time.

Bubba Dawg
11-22-2009, 11:16 AM
I despise drunk drivers.

But this guy wasn't driving. I think this case was more about DWI's as a source of revenue for the government.

Big Guy
11-22-2009, 11:20 AM
I despise drunk drivers.

But this guy wasn't driving. I think this case was more about DWI's as a source of revenue for the government.

I am with you on that one, they use the "Letter of the law" to get the revenue. Here in Tennesee, we also have a Public intoxication Law, which has come to mean walking while intoxicated, this is a stupid law that promotes real DWI.

Rockntractor
11-22-2009, 11:24 AM
You will comply!

Nubs
11-22-2009, 11:31 AM
I do believe the ruling is bullsh*t.

However, from the cops perspective. If the cop let him go with only a warning, and the man later decided to drive home and killed someone. Would not the cop and the city be liable?

Big Guy
11-22-2009, 11:41 AM
I do believe the ruling is bullsh*t.

However, from the cops perspective. If the cop let him go with only a warning, and the man later decided to drive home and killed someone. Would not the cop and the city be liable?

The Cop and the City would only be liable if the cop allowed him to drive, the man was not trying to drive. His head was on a pillow and the keys were not in the ignition. An alternative would have been to have someone come and get this man.

Rockntractor
11-22-2009, 12:31 PM
I do believe the ruling is bullsh*t.

However, from the cops perspective. If the cop let him go with only a warning, and the man later decided to drive home and killed someone. Would not the cop and the city be liable?

He should have been towed home at his expence and let it go at that! Where is our humanity we have become a society of blood sucking leeches.

RobJohnson
11-22-2009, 12:44 PM
Three drinks & two hours later he still blew a .13? Sounds fishy to me.

Bubba Dawg
11-22-2009, 02:44 PM
Three drinks & two hours later he still blew a .13? Sounds fishy to me.

maybe he weighs 36 pounds?

expat-pattaya
11-22-2009, 08:20 PM
maybe he weighs 36 pounds?

Yeah, that would explain a lot :)

gskibum
11-22-2009, 08:29 PM
Three drinks & two hours later he still blew a .13? Sounds fishy to me.

Perhaps he hadn't had anything to eat all day. I think he's also a rather physically small man. But it does seem it would take a perfect set of circumstances for him to achieve that level of intoxication from 3 drinks.

Big Guy
11-22-2009, 08:35 PM
Perhaps he hadn't had anything to eat all day. I think he's also a rather physically small man. But it does seem it would take a perfect set of circumstances for him to achieve that level of intoxication from 3 drinks.

Or possibly they were really big drinks. :D

SarasotaRepub
11-22-2009, 09:12 PM
That guy needs a better lawyer, short of that he's probably screwed.

RobJohnson
11-22-2009, 11:42 PM
maybe he weighs 36 pounds?

If I had to guess, I would bet that he was drunk prior to the 3 drinks.

FlaGator
11-23-2009, 08:56 AM
I do believe the ruling is bullsh*t.

However, from the cops perspective. If the cop let him go with only a warning, and the man later decided to drive home and killed someone. Would not the cop and the city be liable?

It prosecutor should have elected not to prosecute. That is within the scope of his power. He wanted to prosecute and is now hiding behind the law because his decision is being criticized.