U.S. Navy drunk driving deterrence displayEnlarge Photo
"If your drunken memory causes you a fit, you must acquit."
Okay so we made that line up, but we're not making up any bit of the rest of this seemingly insane story. An Ottawa judge has ruled that volunteer firefighter Trevor Clarke is not guilty of the hit and run charges levied against him. Clarke was pulled over for driving while under the influence, and his blood alcohol level was a rather impressive four times the legal limit. Before he was stopped for the DUI, Clarke also struck a cyclist with his truck, who then suffered a brain injury.
Clarke wasn't convicted of the hit and run because the judge felt he was too drunk.
Let us explain while you pick your jaw up off the floor: The judge believed that Clarke was so drunk that he actually didn't realize he had hit someone, and thus didn't know he needed to stop. While that bit of twisted logic makes sense for a second, and Clarke's lawyer deserves the Johnny Cochran Lifetime Achievement Award, it's also wildly ridiculous.
Adding to the insanity is the fact that Clarke's lawyer successfully argued that the police that stopped the defendant breached his rights. Thus his alcohol level was actually inadmissible because of the manner in which the police handled the stop and arrest. You can read all the details of what that is at the Ottawa Citizen.
Want to get even angrier at the whole situation? The police can't remember and didn't record any of the answers given by Clarke (a firefighter, remember) during the stop. The cyclist? She's a 45-year-old nurse that is still battling some emotional and physical issues related to the crash. Because of the brain injury, she actually doesn't remember it, which is probably the only good news out of this whole messed up affair.