Joseph Schwab from California was charged with the misdemeanor of driving under the influence of a drug. His attorney has prepared a defense in which the only prove against him is the existence of caffeine in his system.
Schwab was pulled over back in August 2015 while he was driving home from work. An agent from the local alcohol beverage control department stopped him after noticing that he was driving erratically and in an unmarked vehicle. Afterward, the man went through an alcohol test that showed that he had 0,00 percent of alcohol in his blood stream.
The 36-year-old man was taken into custody in the county jail and also went through a toxicologic test that proved that he didn’t have narcotics like cocaine or opiates in his system. After this test, the results traveled to another laboratory in Pennsylvania for a double check. This time, the test showed that, like many other standard drivers, Schwab had ingested caffeine recently.
A rare trial
Schwab’s attorney, Stacey Barrett, filed a motion for the case to be dismissed because the charges were not presented officially until June of this year, ergo, almost one year after the incident. However, the motion was denied, and the case will go on on January 11, 2017.
The chief deputy district attorney for Solano County, Sharon Henry, stated that exhaustive investigations have to be made to understand this trial and its causes. He explained that this type of cases (DUI) are not sustained under the usage of substances like caffeine.
Barret has affirmed that if the DA or the California officials have any kind of test that proves that her client was driving under the influence of a drug, it will represent a breach of the rules related to criminal proceedings, according to the federal law. These proceedings establish that this type of evidence must be provided to the accused’s attorney.
“I have not been provided with any evidence to support a theory of prosecution for a substance other than caffeine at this time. Nor I have received any statements, reports, etc documenting any ongoing investigation since the [toxicology report] dated 18 November 2015,” Barret said.
Jeffrey Zehnder, a forensic toxicologist, commented on this issue. He said that it is tough to sustain a case that only has as evidence the consumption of caffeine while driving. He explained that the prosecutor now has to demonstrate that the “erratic” driving was in fact caused by the ingestion of caffeine and not by any other reason or circumstance. He stated that there is no study regarding caffeine as a substance that affects driving, and for that reason, it will be hard to declare the accused as guilty of charges.
In the meantime, Schwab has complained to the media explaining that his reputation has been damaged by this “nonsense” trial and that when he is declared innocent, he wants his name to be cleared.
Source: Fox News