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DUI defense: blame it on the flip-flops

Here’s a DUI defense we haven’t seen before: the Flip-Flop Defense.

A York County driver claimed that as he drove out a restaurant parking lot, he got his flip-flop wedged against the accelerator, causing his 1999 Chevy Blazer to go out of control and flip onto its roof. A modern-day multi-tasker, Kegan Bilger also was trying to put a “chew” of tobacco in his mouth when he lost control of his car.

Of course, there was also that matter of the four 22-ounce beers Bilger drank at the restaurant, with only a bowl of chowder to soak up the alcohol.

At trial, Bilger tried to keep out the certificate of blood analysis showing a 0.11 percent blood alcohol content. The trial judge said the certificate didn’t really matter, as the circumstantial evidence and Bilger’s admission to drinking the four beers made a prima facie showing that he was driving under influence.

York County Circuit Court Judge Designate Robert W. Curran convicted Bilger under Virginia Code § 18.2-266, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction yesterday in an unpublished opinion.

Evidence supporting the conviction included photos of the accident scene, Bilger’s admission to drinking 88 ounces of brew and the fact that he flipped his vehicle within a six-parking space span and emerged with glass fragments in his eye, but called his insurance company first.
By Deborah Elkins

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