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Texas DUI Conviction Called Into Question Due To Faulty Saturn Ignition Switch

Posted by Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney | Jul 29, 2014 | 0 Comments


Sometimes it's a little too easy for police to jump to conclusions. They see just enough evidence to arrest someone for a crime, and it's often enough to gain a conviction - even when the suspect may actually be innocent.

That appeared to be the case in 2004 in Ben Wheeler, Texas when Candice Anderson's Saturn Ion swerved off the roadway and slammed into a tree, killing 25-year old Gene Erickson. A trooper who arrived on the scene an hour later found a hysterical Anderson (who suffered several broken limbs) and noted that her pupils were focused and not dilated. But because there was no "evasive action" taken, the trooper attributed the crash to Anderson's drug use.

Later, authorities found a tiny amount of Xanax which was just barely over the detectable limit, so they charged her with intoxication manslaughter. She later pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide, although she didn't serve any prison time.

But recently, it was determined that the Ion probably lost power because of a faulty ignition switch. (The air bags did not deploy during the crash). Some 2.6 million Ions and Chevrolet Cobalts have been recalled this year because of that defect, and another dozen people are believed to have died from these inferior ignition switches. Further investigation revealed that in the case of Erickson's death, officials with automaker General Motors repeatedly refused to answer questions about the case, noting that the company had "failed to assess the cause" of the accident. As a result, many believe that GM was intentionally hiding the defect from safety regulators.

Regarding Anderson's case, the laws were stacked against her because it only takes a very small amount of a drug to be present in order for a person to be charged with intoxication; unlike alcohol impairment, which is measured by blood alcohol content that exceeds a .08% concentration in the bloodstream.

That's why it's always vital to engage the services of a qualified DUI defense attorney whenever you have been charged with driving while intoxicated.

About the Author

Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney

Highly rated by former clients, who praise his warm, knowledgeable courtside manner and his fierce determination to reduce or eliminate charges. An accomplished speaker, author, and leader in DUI defense statewide Kevin is well respected by judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys across the State of Washington for his expertise, integrity, and knowledge in the complicated forensic science area of impaired driving allegations.


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