SA muso's drunk driving case postponed

2013-11-20 07:32
arno carstens
Cape Town - Musician Arno Carstens is expected back in the Cape Town Magistrate's court in February next year on a charge of drunken driving.

His trial was postponed on Tuesday, after lengthy scientific testimony from a forensic toxicologist.

Expert witness Tim Lourens, the head of forensic toxicology at the University of Pretoria, said his independent analysis of blood alcohol results matched those of the State.

The blood sample was taken from Carstens when he was arrested nearly three years ago for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of drunk driving, alternatively driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.20%.

The 0.20% level came from the State's analysis. The legal limit is 0.05%.

During cross-examination, Lourens's testimony was questioned by Carstens's legal team, who are set to bring in their expert during the trial next year.

Carstens's lawyer Milton de la Harpe put it to Lourens that forensic medical literature proved that the artist's behaviour during and after his arrest was not that of a man whose blood alcohol level was 0.20%.

De la Harpe stated that Carstens should have suffered speech impediment, muscle impairment and memory loss at the time of his arrest.

However, he co-operated fully with police officers and did not behave like a man who had such a high level of alcohol in his system.

Lourens told the court he had not prepared for such questions, but said: "There are times when the clinical picture does not correspond with analysis."

The trial continues on 18 February.
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