Axford v. State

In Axford v. State, Alaska App. Memorandum Opinion No. 2429 (May 13, 1992), 1992 WL 12153171, the defendant drove his vehicle off the roadway and it became stuck in a snow bank. The defendant then made efforts to re-start the car and to free it from the snow, but he succeeded only in draining the battery, so that the car could no longer start. Based on these facts, Axford argued that his car was no longer "operable" when the police arrived. The Court rejected Axford's argument because, even though his vehicle could no longer be started on its own, the vehicle remained "reasonably capable of being rendered operable". The Court declared: "Axford's dead car was more analogous to the car which had run out of gas than to the car with the cracked block. We agree with the government that a car with a dead battery is reasonably capable of being rendered operable, because it may be jump-started with relative ease at the scene and then sent on its way. Accordingly, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in declining to give the operability instruction requested by Axford".