DWI Suspect’s Charges Dismissed

An individual named Enrique Rivera was sentenced this week for killing a man out of reckless driving in 2020. Upon his arrest, he had been charged with drunk driving, but this charge did not stand. Rivera had secured a plea deal in September and admitted his guilt to a lesser charge of reckless driving resulting in homicide. During the time of the accident in June 2020, Rivera was under a suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI).

According to court documents, Rivera admitted to a police officer that he had two beers before the incident. His blood alcohol content was tested, but the results were not admissible as legal evidence. The State’s lawyer Derek Berg suggested there were legal barriers in proving the evidence. Furthermore, Rivera’s attorney, Megan Dorsey, pointed out the difficulties in gaining admissibility due to the requirement of a thorough foundation for the test results. The officer who witnessed the incident should testify to fulfill this requirement.

However, problems arose as the state could not present DWI Officer Elsman, the key witness in the incident. It has been noted that another police officer, Nelson Ortiz, was part of the case. Ortiz had been involved in a significant FBI fraud investigation surrounding numerous DWI cases. This investigation has subsequently led to over 150 possible temporary dismissals of such cases.

While Officer Ortiz is not currently facing criminal charges, he has been put on administrative leave. However, Rivera’s plea deal has been unassociated with this officer’s situation. Dorsey noted that drawing a distinction between intoxication versus head trauma from the accident would have been difficult in a trial.

Initially, Rivera faced a potential sentence of 15 years with his charges, but his plea deal reduced it to a maximum of six years. Ultimately, Rivera received a one-year sentence.

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