Does Tony Denunzio Need a Comprehensive DUI Class?

by: Mike Miller

Even if you beat the rap that does not mean you are completely innocent. It just means you are not guilty. Sometimes a good attorney can make a black and white case go gray. This is a case of DUI where the attorney became the issue.

The DUI case against Tony Denunzio — who made headlines in October 2011 after his violent arrest was partially captured on video — was dismissed back in April after it became clear she wouldn’t be able to use blood-alcohol content test results as evidence in Denunzio’s retrial. As reported in

How can you not use the results of a blood-alcohol test?

His blood was drawn 48 minutes after his arrest, and registered at a 0.09 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent — and it was deemed irrelevant to whether he was driving under the influence of alcohol. With that result there is no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol without the DOJ’s expert testimony regarding the defendant’s blood alcohol content.

Again, how can this happen?

During Denunzio’s first trial — he was originally facing two separate charges of driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or above and driving under the influence — the judge dismissed the charge of driving with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or above. His attorney had argued that blood-alcohol tests are circumstantial evidence. With circumstantial evidence, if there are two or more reasonable conclusions and one suggests innocence and another, guilt, the one pointing to innocence must be accepted.

An expert for the prosecution admitted Denunzio could have had a 0.079 percent blood-alcohol level at the time of driving, and the judge sided with him in his argument that it would not be appropriate to extrapolate back to the time Denunzio was driving.

We will follow up on this blog with another looking at how everything eventually transpired. I think we all would agree that Denunzio needs to complete a 30 hour online alcohol program and likely may have a problem with alcohol.