AUSTIN (KXAN) - The verdict in the Gabrielle Nestande case could be influential in future similar cases. The evidence used in this trial could change the way courts handle drunk driving cases.
Following a day long of deliberation, a 12-person jury reached no verdict.
Nestanded faces intoxication manslaughter, manslaughter and failure to stop render aid charges.
Former prosecutor Mindy Montford told KXAN Wednesday morning she thinks the defense did what they could to show the evidence did not support the state's argument beyond a reasonable doubt.
"You can't just show that somebody is intoxicated by throwing some receipts out , throwing some testimony of other people who might have been drinking also that night, some video footage," Montford said.
Deliberating on three separate charges, the jury had mounds of evidence and a number of legal issues to wrestle with, but they didn't have sobriety test results.
"The defense successfully argued that even APD said there were no signs of intoxication, and that's why they didn't give her a breath test or a blood test," Montford said,
Montford says if the jury finds Nestande guilty of intoxication manslaughter--based on the circumstantial evidence--that conviction could have a far-reaching effect..
"I think that's a very dangerous path that we're starting, because, is the state going to prove DWI cases in that same fashion?"
Criminal cases like the Nestande case, can be the cause for creating new laws or changing them..
Currently, there is a bill at the capitol that would raise the penalty for those who do not stop and render aid, giving no incentive for people to drive off.
Bill Lewis is a policy liaison for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers , pushing for several new bills in this legislation.
"One is to give law enforcement guidelines running sobriety checkpoints, " Lewis said, "Texas is only one of eleven states that does not run checkpoints, "
Another bill is an ignition interlock device for people who have been convicted of drunk driving, similar to a breathalyzer to start the engine.
Embattled Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg is court Monday for a civil trial that could end her career as the county's top prosecutor..
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Even though there were no reports of iced over bridges or roadways like last week, officials are urging people to use extra caution while driving.
A 55-year-old man died in a single-vehicle crash just after midnight Monday morning near Lakeway.
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