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Accused Drunk Driver Pickled, Not a Pickle Lover, Jury Rules

From United Press International

Zbigniew Krawiec swore that he had just been drinking pickle juice when he was pulled over for drunk driving, but a jury decided he was pickled and convicted him anyway.

Krawiec, a Polish immigrant, said his favorite beverage is pickle juice. It’s a Polish custom, he told jurors Thursday.

To prove his point, defense attorney Jim Kane introduced a jar of dill pickles and wanted Krawiec to take a mouthful on the witness stand to prove he loves the stuff.

But deputy prosecutor Steven Nash objected, and Judge Charles Dorn upheld the objection.

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“Have I ever seen a ‘pickle juice defense’ before this? No,” said Dorn, who has tried hundreds of drunk-driving cases.

Washington State Trooper Dan Derrick testified that he pulled Krawiec over after spotting him driving with his lights off. Derrick said Krawiec failed a field sobriety test and refused to take a breath test.

Derrick and two jailers testified that the defendant’s breath smelled of alcohol, not pickles.

Dorn fined Krawiec $400 and ordered him to serve three days in jail. Kane is expected to appeal.

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