Drunk Driving Trial Cross Examining the Officer on the Datamaster DMT Breath Test

You can always tell the experience level of a criminal defense attorney by how well they cross examine the operator of the Datamaster DMT breath test machine.  It is unbelievable how many self professed drunk driving lawyers simply allow the breath test operator to testify unopposed, or simply stipulate to the results of the machine.  This of course is tantamount to ineffective assistance of counsel and it is not the way to win an operating while intoxicated trial in Oakland County.

Here is an excerpt of a cross examination of the Datamaster operating in recent operating while intoxicated victory that drinking and driving trial lawyer Jim Amberg conducted.  Although the video does not show Jim as he crosses the officer, you can hear him repeatedly hammer the officer on the error rate of the Datamaster.  This particular officer did not want to admit that the machine had any error rate, yet he had to admit that when there is a fatal accident, the officer doesn't take the suspect in for a breath test, the suspect is taken in for a blood draw, the most accurate of the alcohol tests.

The craziest part about this is that most criminal lawyers would have stipulated to the officer's testimony.  By challenging the officer, Jim secured an aquittal on a second offense operating while intoxicated in a case that involved somebody falling off of a motorcycle on M-59 in Waterford. 

Drunk Driving Trial Opening Statement Video

An extremely important part of any operating while intoxicated jury trial is the opening statement.  An opening statement is given either directly after the prosecutor does their opening, or reserved until the prosecutor rests.  The purpose of an opening statement is to let the jury know what the defendant believes the evidence is going to show.  Although every criminal case is different and there are many different strategies available for openings, we have found that in drunk driving cases, setting the foundation for our trial arguments in a way that anybody would understand is key to successfully winning.  OWI trial lawyer Jim Amberg will generally narrow his opening to a concise discussion of the one or two issues that he believes will be the most important to the jury.

Every once in awhile we can secure a video of the court proceedings during our drinking and driving trials in Oakland County.  As seen in this video, Jim lays out his opening statement in a complicated operating while intoxicated 3rd offense felony case.  

Opening statements are the best time for the defense attorney to let the jury know all of the good and bad facts that they may hear, and begin reinforcing the arguments that the defendant will have throughout their case.

Drunk Driving Trial Closing Argument Videos

Amberg & Amberg operating while intoxicated lawyer Jim Amberg has been lucky to obtain a few videos of his many drunk driving trials.  A very important part of any owi trial is the closing argument, which can make or break a case.  Many inexperienced lawyers generally ramble on and put the jury to sleep, while others put on a fake dramatic show which leaves jurors confused and upset.  Jim has found that being to the point and clearly explaining the facts in the context of the jury instructions is the best way to convey why his clients are not guilty of drinking and driving.