DUI Case Hinging on Dual Identity Evidence

Being charged with a DUI is a serious charge for a motorist.  In a DUI case in Wyoming, prosecutors who thought they had plenty of evidence to send an accused driver to jail,  will need to prove the identity of the accused before they can proceed with the case.

Teton County sheriff’s deputies arrested Bryan Dennis Lane, 32, on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, destruction of property and interference with a peace officer.

Lane could be facing felony drunk driving charges if prosecutors can prove that he is the same man convicted of two DUI’s in Idaho.  Prosecutors upgraded the DUI charge to a felony after finding records of three other DUI convictions since 2003.  Wyoming law states that a DUI can be charged as a felony if it is a defendant’s fourth charge in ten years.

James Radda, Ninth District Circuit Court Judge, ruled there is enough evidence to send Lane’s case to district court.  However, all those present agreed a trial would have to answer several questions.

The most important question is whether prosecutor Clark Allen can prove that the man convicted of two Idaho DUI’s was in fact Bryan Lane.  The Idaho convictions are under a different name, but court documents show that the man also went by the name of Bryan Dennis Lane.  The man has the same birth date, but a different Social Security number.

The Idaho convictions are also listed in a 2009 pre-sentence investigation for Lane’s third DUI in Teton County.

According to public defender Elisabeth Trefonas who is representing Lane, the record of convictions is totally inaccurate and she disputed the Idaho convictions were earned by her client.  Trefonas also objected to the results of Lane’s breath test at the Teton County jail, which were taken almost three hours after his arrest.  She stated that Lane had something in his mouth just before the test.

Deputy Latimer Gyetvai, who arrested Lane, stated that the jail staff observes DUI suspects for 15 minutes before the test to make sure that they do not have anything in their mouths that could compromise the test.

If, by chance, the Idaho driver does turn out to be a different man, then Lane could not be charged with a felony DUI charge.

DUI is a serious charge.  Lane’s situation is different than most, but in all DUI cases, with so much at stake, experienced legal counsel is essential.