A former Alabama police officer, who denied being guilty of DUI following an accident that left a man dead, has lost his appeal of his conviction. The 38-year-old man, who resigned his position with the police department in Birmingham after his arrest, now faces a 12-year prison sentence.
The accident occurred on Nov. 18, 2009, when the former officer, who was off-duty, drove along Interstate 20/59 outside of Birmingham. His car had been traveling at a speed as high as an estimated 120 mph when it rear-ended a convertible. The two cars stuck together and skidded across the highway, according to evidence presented in court.
After hitting a concrete road barrier, the two cars moved apart. The ex-officer's car continued to slide as far as 800 feet. The convertible, with just the male driver inside, flew into the air and ejected the driver, killing him.
Last year, the ex-officer stood trial for reckless murder, but a jury in Jefferson County, Alabama, found him guilty of a lesser charge. He appealed his 12-year sentence and remained free on bond.
The former officer maintained his innocence throughout the trial and the appeal, contending he was neither drunk nor speeding the evening his car collided with the convertible. He said the convertible driver caused the accident by veering into the ex-officer's lane of travel.
Evidence submitted at trial, however, claimed the officer registered a blood alcohol content of somewhere between 0.14 and 0.17 percent. Many times the blood alcohol content testing equipment is not calibrated properly.
Although the appeal did not work in the driver's favor in this case, it always is beneficial for people who have been convicted to discuss options of appeal with their attorneys. He can always appeal his case again to the Alabama Supreme Court.
Source: The Birmingham News, "Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upholds DUI manslaughter conviction of off-duty police officer," Eric Velasco, May 11, 2012