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Jury booted, judge rules Roloff not guilty of drunk driving
by Cheryl McDermott & BWNS
The six-man jury deliberating the guilt or innocence of Matt Roloff, television star of TLC’s “Little People, Big World”, in his long-anticipated drunk driving trial was given the boot Thursday after violating court orders by researching terms on the internet, leaving the judge to ultimately make the decision: “not guilty”.
Jurors deliberated three hours on Wednesday before going home, and continued today for about an hour and a half before the judge was informed of the jurors’ violation.
|Matt Roloff's mug shot - WCSO photo |
Roloff, 46, seeking to avoid a mistrial, waived his right to a jury trial and left it up to the judge to decide his fate. He was found not guilty of driving under the influence of intoxicants, failing to maintain a lane of traffic, and refusing to take a breath test.
Roloff was arrested around midnight on June 19, 2006 when Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Allen Pastori observed him driving erratically after leaving the Rock Creek Cafe & Pub, where he admited to having a single beer.
Because Roloff had refused to take a breath test, the evidence against him was based on the deputy’s observations including a "moderate odor of alcohol" on his breath, and watery and glassy eyes. Deputy Pastori testified that Roloff displayed six of six indications of impairment commonly used by law enforcement.
The reality TV star, however, maintained that he was simply tired and was unused to driving his wife, Amy’s, custom van which has foot pedal extensions for her stature instead of his.
After announcing his decision, the judge called the jury into the courtroom and gave them a stern admonishment for doing a “disservice to the entire legal system”.
Roloff has been charged with drunk driving before. In 2003, reports show he agreed to enter an alcohol treatment program and the charges were dropped when Roloff successfully completed the program.
The Roloff family: Matt, Amy, daughter Molly, twin sons Zach and Jeremy, and youngest child Jacob; are featured on The Learning Channel’s television show that focuses on the family’s life on their 33-acre farm in Oregon. Pegged by TLC as an “extraordinary family composed of both little and average-sized people”, the Roloff’s share how Matt, Amy, and Zach live as Little People with dwarfism in a world of normal-sized people.
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- What a poor example of the judicial system. Have you seen this show? The family house looks a mess. Little people big sloppy pigs! (Posted on August 4, 2008, 5:40 pm nancy)
- Read all the comments about getting away with drinking and driving. Very interesting how someone can justify it in so many ways. Wait til you lose a beautiful 18 yr. old daughter who is just starting her life and wants to go to college in a head on by a drunken 21 yr. old who crosses the center line and takes her life when she is on the way home from a movie. THEN you can discuss who is guilty and who isn't. PS The 21 yr old got away with it and was arrested 9 months later on another DUII. I watch the Little People too. But I don't make excuses for their mistakes. Wake up idiots!!!!! (Posted on May 30, 2008, 8:41 am Michael)
- my,my,does anyone remember 9-11? back then we would not have thought of saying anything bad about anyone,well to me (9-11) is still very present, think of it this way ,if Mr Roloff was truly DUI, he is a God fearing man and will answer for it ,He and Amy both talk of thier faith often, I believe they have a lot to answer for being in the spot light so often, thier lives are open for all to see, mistakes and all, but they are blessed so they must be doing something right, so all of you jealous people should just shut up and find something else to do ,(like read your bible if you own one) if not pray for them that always is the best way to find out where we our selves need help, is when we pray for others faults, our own is brought to light. (Posted on April 2, 2008, 10:41 pm chocolate)
- In Oregon when you sign for your driver’s license, you agree that if you are ever asked to blow in the intoxilyzer that you will do it or lose your license for 1 year (1st offence). I believe that Matt should have at least lost his license because that was a cut and dry case. The rest of it was up to interpretation of the judge because of the stupid jurors but if you aren't smart enough to get out of jury duty... (Posted on March 4, 2008, 10:31 am Jamie)
- To abomb,
Were you drinking when you wrote your comments? Or do you always have poor judgment? You sound like someone who has driven drunk (and perhaps even been arrested/convicted?) and are trying to justify your actions to yourself and others. Perhaps you should check out state or national statistics on drunk driving and reconsider your opinion. Under the Constitution, you have a right to your particular (although misguided) opinion. But you do not have a RIGHT to drive, either drunk or sober. Driving is a privilege, NOT a right. That is why the state can take away your DL, for abusing the privilege, whether by driving drunk or not abiding by other laws. For your safety and that of others, I sincerely hope you reconsider your opinion (and actions, if you happen to 'practice what you preach'). God Bless you and those that share the roadway with you. (Posted on March 4, 2008, 7:39 am amy)
- It is funny to me how someone exercising their fifth amendment rights is told to have "special"treatment. If you aren't guilty, why don't you let us violate your rights?? YES YES YES, I'm with that guy! Let the brainwashing begin ....... Let me tell you quite non politically correct what is really going on. DUI is a mass money maker that has caught the attention of all the bleeding hearts out there (MADD certainly creates enough sob stories of all of us). A guy blowing .30 while passing out at the wheel is now viewed the same way as someone who has a couple of drinks with a friend before driving home from work.
Believe me, cell phones are more deadly on the road than that guy who just took down 2 beers, but you won't see cell phone users getting treated like common criminals and thrown into our jails. HMM, or will you? I might start some brainwashing campaigns tomorrow and convince the governmetn they can make a gang of money off all those life endangering inconsiderate morons.
I have an even better idea, why don't we make a law that says anyone who ever gets distracted in their car while driving have a right to be pulled over? It would certainly make our roads a ton safter. AND another thing .. If our government really wanted to stop the drinking and driving, it would happen. They could require that all bars take keys away from people who are driving or be held accountable, etc.
TRUST ME, this is about money making, not safety.
If you disagree, I am sorry, but you have just been brainwashed into believing what you are told. DUI is a great white horse for our state and county politicians to rack up some tax payer dollars and sounds great on top of that.....
There is such mass paranoia being promoted in our society about alcohol and driving. You would almost think that anyone with a DUI is a completely worthless irresponsible alcoholic would you? That is just ridiculous ....... We are even at a point now where blowing .05 can earn you some jail time and possibly ruin your life.
Getting to my point with this article.... I don't blame Roloff for not blowing into that breath machine. It is highly inaccurate by the way and the man is short in stature and doesn't weigh a whole lot either.
Do any of you nah sayers even realize that a person who is accustomed to drinking say 2 8 ounce glasses of wine in a single sitting has a greater "tolerance" for alcohol than a person who doesn't drink at all? Or the guy who drinks a 6 pack of beer a few times every week has a greater tolerance for alcohol than a person who doesn't drink?
By allowing a breathalyzer, we are not better protecting our people on the road. Someone blowing .08 that is used to drinking is in much better condition to drive than someone blowing .03 and not used to drinking. That is never considered with a breath test. (Posted on January 16, 2008, 5:29 pm abomb)
- Oh give me a break, NONE of you mornons heard the evidence. None of you idiots were in the Jury Box. It's not about a DUI, it's a criminal case and unless you heard the evidence, you are talking out of your rear end and all of you are. Everybody whines about our criminal justice system until it's their family's little retart that is on trial and then you want justice. YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK (Posted on January 13, 2008, 9:05 am MemphisDave)
- You must be kidding. Matt refused a breath test and gets rewarded for it? This very incompetent judge should be removed from the bench immediately and banned from watching TV. (Posted on January 11, 2008, 8:31 am fanomo)
- NO BIG SURPRIZE
This is just another case of a celebritiy getting special treatment. Anytime you are pulled over for suspected DUI and refuse to blow it's considered as good as pleading quilty especially when it's the second time you've been charged with DUI. All the people that are writing things like " Good for you Matt, WTG!! would they feel the same way had it been anybody else who'd been charged with DUI twice and was out there sharing the road with their family members. He tries to make out on the show that honesty and morals are so important especially for his children yet he knows he was not just tired and that's why he was weaving when he left the bar at around midnight and claiming to have had only 1 beer. Way to set an example Matt. (Posted on January 11, 2008, 7:26 am Chris)
- If it had been an average person, who wasn't a celebrity of sorts, would they have gotten that kind of treatment? I doubt it. They would have been found guilty. Yet again, another "celebrity" puts lives at risk, and gets away with it. I guess we just have to wait until someone is killed before our justice system stops giving breaks to these people. (Posted on January 10, 2008, 9:24 pm stephanie)