Montana Senator Hit with Felony Charges For Boating Under the Influence — Case May Merit More News Coverage than Even Many Celebrity Southern California DUI Matters

It’s a case that rivals a celebrity Los Angeles DUI escapade — and it took place in Montana, of all places. At the center of the storm is Senator Greg Barkus (R- Montana) who, on the night of August 7th, allegedly drove a boat into a rocky coastline at speeds approaching 45 miles per hour. barkus_DUI.jpg

Senator Barkus (along with his wife, fellow Congressman Denny Rehberg, and two staffers) were all hurt in the accident. Prosecutors have revealed that Senator Barkus’ blood sample tested at 0.16 percent nearly two hours after the crash occurred. That’s twice Montana’s legal limit for driving (0.08 percent). The senator has been tagged for DUI previously. In 2004, he pled guilty to driving under the influence in the city of Polson, Montana.

If convicted of felony charges against him, the senator could face up to ten years in prison — for each of the three charges — and he could face tens or thousands of dollars worth of fines. He is due to appear in Flathead District Court in Montana on October 22nd for his arraignment.

As a veteran Southern California DUI defense attorney would likely have told the senator, building a rock-ribbed legal defense in a case as complex and public as this requires careful investigation. For instance, a deep analysis might lead the senator to challenge the validity of the results of his blood test. (According to a report in The Billings Gazette, the senator’s passengers did not (at the time) believe him to be intoxicated. Another report revealed that a political rival (a Democrat state representative) ran the lab where the senator’s blood sample was first sent to be analyzed.)

Contrary to many people’s beliefs, blood tests often yield unclear or even biased results. Many factors can cause the test to indicate a higher BAC level than the subject actually might have had. For instance, the chemicals inside the test may have been expired or poorly preserved. The sample may have been misidentified, mishandled, mistested, misinterpreted, or stored improperly. Problems with sterility, refrigeration, and contamination can all influence results.

Of course, given that courts generally consider blood tests to be more reliable than breathalyzer and urine tests, it’s almost always a good idea to retain a top notch Southern California DUI attorney to assist with your case. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Los Angeles, connect today with Attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Attorney Kraut is a Harvard Law School grad and a former LA District Attorney with a tremendous track record. Since he once prosecuted DUI cases for a living, he understands better than most how to shore up potentially shaky defenses and aggressively battle back.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.

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