Burping Leads to DWI Defense

During a driver’s license suspension appeal, a New Hampshire DWI attorney raised a unique defensive tool for his client – burping.

Frederick Cronin was arrested by state police for suspicion of drunk driving. He was taken to a local police department where a breath test was to be conducted. Just before the test was to be administered however, Cronin burped. According to administrative rules, police officers are required to wait 20 minutes if the suspect vomits, regurgitates or belches.

After waiting the requisite time, the test was conducted. Police needed to take a required second breath sample but Cronin burped again. Police described it as a ‘dry burp’ and were uncertain whether to proceed. After discussing the issue, the police elected to take another breath sample immediately.

At a hearing before the state Department of Motor Vehicles, Cronin’s attorney argued that the rules regarding the administration of a breath test after a driver burps had not been followed and that the sample was compromised. There is no comment from any involved parties and a decision in this case has not yet been rendered.

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