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Former Yankee Leyritz’ DUI Manslaughter Videotape Released


In late December, former Yankee Jim Leyritz was involved in a car crash that left a 30-year old woman dead. Following the crash, Florida law enforcement conducted a DUI investigation and Jim Leyritz was subsequently arrested for DUI Manslaughter.

DUI Manslaughter is a serious criminal traffic charge that can land an individual in Florida State Prison for upwards of 15 years, with a mandatory minimum of three years if convicted. If taken to trial, a Florida jury may ultimately get to see the videotape of his arrest. The video can be watched here, however, I was not overwhelmed with the video as a means to show that Mr. Leyritz was impaired. This video may prove to be a great cross-examination source for Leyritz’ defense team.

Specifically, when watching the tape, I was struck by how composed and smooth Leyritz’ performed the physical sobriety tests. While the media seemed interested in the fact that he showed no emotion when learning of the death of the other driver — we should remember he will be tried for Driving Under the Influence. Leyritz’s reaction to causing a death is only remotely relevant to show an admission of some sort, not that he responded the way he did to that information. I suspect the judge may entertain a motion to redact that portion of the tape as it really does nothing to show impairment and could only taint the jury.

As to impairment, the case turns on those field sobriety examinations, which he performed well. This evidence, although helpful to the defense, will be countered by State Prosecutors in two ways: (1) His Breath Alcohol Content reading of .14, is well above the legal BAC limit of .08, and (2) under Florida law, a BAC reading over .08 comes with it a presumption of impairment. These are high hurdles for the defense attorneys hired by Leyritz.

Many folks have questions about their DUI arrest and Whittel & Melton, LLC is ready to help. Defending Florida DUI arrests in Brooksville, Gainesville, Ocala, New Port Richey, Inverness, Clearwater, Dade City, Bushnell and everywhere in between.

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