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Supreme court hears DUI appeal

Staff writer

A Marion man’s appeal of his Oct. 3, 2019, driving under the influence conviction was heard Tuesday in the state supreme court.

Ty R. Zeiner was found guilty Oct. 3, 2019, of driving under the influence, second conviction.

A court of appeals reviewed Zeiner’s case Jan. 24, 2020. It affirmed part of the district court ruling and reversed another part.

Zeiner was arrested after he was found asleep in his parked car. During his trial, he wanted to have “operate a vehicle” defined as “drive a vehicle,” which district court would not do.

In his appeal, Zeiner claimed there was not enough evidence to support his conviction and that the district court erred by denying his request to define “operate” as “drive” in the jury instructions.

The appellate court ruled there was enough evidence to support his conviction, but that a breath alcohol test was taken too long after he drank to prove he was above the legal limit for driving.

It ruled also that district court erred when it would not allow “operating” a vehicle to be defined as “driving” one, but that the error was not serious enough to reverse the district court decision.

Both Marion County and Zeiner challenged the appellate court’s decision and appealed to the supreme court.

The supreme court will decide whether the appellate court erred in its decisions.

Zeiner was sentenced Jan. 10, 2020, to 48 hours in jail followed by five days’ house arrest, then a year’s community corrections. He also was ordered to pay $1,668.

Because of his ongoing appeals, he has not served any of his sentence.

Lisa Taylor, public information officer for the Supreme Court, said it could take anywhere from several weeks to several months for the court to issue a decision.

Last modified Feb. 2, 2022

 

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