An Intoxicated Person Standing Near a Vehicle Does Not Mean That He Has Operated It Unless There Is Evidence

In People v. Kaminiski, 143 Misc.2d 1089, 542 N.Y.S.2d 923 (Crim. Ct., N.Y. Co. 1989), the police officer observed the defendant standing near a vehicle. The defendant had an unsteady and abrupt matter, had watery and bloodshot eyes, and was talking incessantly. The defendant stated to the officer that the defendant was operating a vehicle when a tow truck had collided with the defendant's car. The police officer administered a test to determine the defendant's blood alcohol content, and the test revealed that the defendant was legally intoxicated. Dismissing the charges against the defendant for facial insufficiency, the court held, 143 Misc.2d at 1093-194, that "there is no allegation that defendant was ever observed inside the vehicle; nor is there anything aside from defendant's own statements to suggest the car had recently been driven by him or anyone else. Indeed, there is no independent evidence that in any way connects defendant with this vehicle such that one might infer he had at any point in time operated the vehicle."