Oregon appeals court overturns drunken driving conviction

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction of a man whose blood alcohol content tested at just above the legal level.

The Oregonian reports John Charles Hedgpeth was detained by an Oregon State Police trooper under suspicion of driving his motorcycle while under the influence of intoxicants nearly four years ago. A breath test administered at the police station registered a blood alcohol of .09 percent, just over the legal limit of .08 percent. Hedgpeth was convicted of driving under the influence in Coos County Circuit Court later that year.

But on Thursday, the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned Hedgpeth’s conviction, saying it was possible that the 62-year-old was still legally sober when he was stopped. The appellate judges found that he wasn’t tested for nearly two hours, and it was possible his blood alcohol level had risen during that time.