(CMR) Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Garfield (Gary) Wong (51) was found NOT GUILTY of DUI today by Magistrate Grace Donalds in Summary Court this morning.
The long awaited verdict comes 4 years after an accident on December 27, 2013. Wong was facing three charges but pleaded not guilty to careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
He has been found NOT guilty of the more serious offense of DUI but guilty on the two traffic offices: leaving the scene of an accident and careless driving.
During the trial, which lasted over a year, Defense attorney Dennis Brady argued that the reliability of the the Intoxilyzer device used to measure Mr. Wong’s level of alcohol-in-blood was subject to known issues. Another point of contention was the procedure used in administering the test and whether legal requirements were met by the officers.
The last issue apparently was the deciding factor for the judge. The key component in the judge's decision of NOT guilty on the DUI charge was that on cross examination the Crown's police witness had some memory recall issues. Apparently, the officer who administered the breath test could not recall if the arresting officer was in the room or not as prescribed by law. In the judge's mind this created sufficient.
She did not discuss the matter of the reliability of the machine itself.
The traffic incident happened over 4 years ago in the early morning hours of December 28, 2013 on Shamrock Road. Wong hit another vehicle in the accident heading home. Wong had testified that his cell phone dropped whilst driving and he wanted to pick it up before before it slid under one of the pedals.
Trial began in January 2017 and evidence, including that of expert witnesses, concluded in April this year. Late July the court heard the closing arguments in the matter.
The Crown is seeking costs for bringing in their expert witness; who attempted to counteract the defense's submission that Wong's acid reflux medication would have given a higher reading on the breathalyzer. The attorney's will argue this point before the judge.
Sentencing has been set for September 17th.