Jury Rejects Beer-Battered Man’s Beer-Battered Fish Defense In Drunk Driving Case
A Wisconsin jury has rejected claims from a repeat drunk driver that he smelled of booze during a traffic stop because he had just eaten beer-battered fish at lunch.
John Przybyla, 76, was convicted yesterday of his tenth drunk driving offense by an Adams County jury that also found him guilty of a second felony charge and a misdemeanor driving with a revoked license count.
Przybyla, seen at right, faces a maximum of more than 12 years in prison on the three counts.
As detailed in a police report, Przybyla was pulled over by a cop in October 2014 for driving erratically. Upon approaching Przybyla, a deputy noticed the “smell of a moderate odor of an intoxicating beverage emitting from his breath.” Additionally, the cop noted that Przybyla’s eyes were bloodshot and glossy, and an open can of Red Dog Beer was on the truck’s passenger seat.
During questioning, Przybyla denied that he had been drinking, and said that he was on the way home after attending a fish fry, where he had consumed “beer battered fish.”
While Przybyla’s blood alcohol content was subsequently measured at .062--below the legal limit--his long history of driving while drunk had resulted in a legal restriction barring him from driving with a BAC above .02.
Przybyla struggled with cops as a nurse sought to draw a blood sample for testing. The suspect said “he was going to sue us for taking his blood because it was against his religion,” reported Deputy Brian Loewenhagen.