Deputy Chief Andi Higbee is fighting for his right to get back behind the wheel. But judging by the pace of Tuesday's civil suspension hearing he could be waiting at least a few more months.
"It was a lot of details that had to be brought out so I wasn't too surprised that the testimony took longer than the folks had anticipated," explained Jim Hughes, Franklin County State's Attorney.
The Burlington police officer's license was suspended this summer after a Vermont State Trooper pulled him over for an alleged traffic violation as Higbee left a concert at the Sheldon Casino in July.
But Higbee wants the charges dismissed -- on grounds the trooper didn't have probable cause to pull him over -- and his claim that his blood alcohol level was not over the legal limit at the time of the stop. The defense also challenged the trooper's ability to see Higbee's blinker that night.
But Trooper Lucas Hall took the stand -- testifying the fixed cruiser cam only captured about a quarter of what he could see with his own eyes.
"As Mr. Higbee approached Vermont Route 105, I did not observe any turn signal on at all," Hall explained.
Higbee admits to having had five alcoholic drinks that night. And after a sobriety test the off-duty cop was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Trooper Lucas Hall told the court Higbee was not "falling down drunk" but he did notice several indicators of intoxication.
"I had a strong odor of alcohol, multiple open containers that were empty in the back of the vehicle, watery, bloodshot eyes which are all indicators of possible impairment. When he gets out of the vehicle you'll notice that he takes kind of a stutter step." Hall said.
The defense and prosecution still need to call chemists to testify about Higbee's blood alcohol level. His initial breathalyzer test showed Higbee was under the legal limit. A second showed him just over.
Higbee's lawyers also filed a motion to dismiss the charges claiming a so called state police quota system tainted the case.
Higbee's lawyer David Williams pressed Hall on the quota.
Williams: You had a goal of no fewer than 1.75 vehicles to stop. Correct?
Hall: It is a benchmark.
Williams: Did you meet your benchmark that night before you stopped Deputy Chief Higbee?
Hall: I do not know.
The court did not set a date for when the hearing will continue but Franklin County State's Attorney Jim Hughes says it most likely will not be picked up until late November or early December. Higbee's license will remain suspended during that time. Hughes also said this case is likely to go to trial -- because the state's offers to settle the case have been rejected by the defense.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:43:23 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:56:33 GMT
Flags were flying on the Statehouse steps Sunday afternoon as more than 500 people gathered for the Gun Owners of Vermont Rally."Vermonters -- not just hunting Vermonters who happen to have firearms forMore >>
A trio of gun control measures may have gotten the green light from Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day, but the charter changes face strong opposition across the state, and a possible uphill battle at the Statehouse.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:43:32 GMT
Is the marketing behind Electronic Cigarettes aimed at kids?New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says the industry's trendy packaging and flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy aren't foolingMore >>
Schumer is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that would ban e-cigarette marketing aimed at kids.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:42:02 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.Members of the so-called Senate Climate Action Task Force -- nearly two dozen in allMore >>
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:40:46 GMT
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.The owner of the home on Pike Drive called for help a little after 9:30 a.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived theyMore >>
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:38:52 GMT
Jazz fingers, dance moves -- and plenty of passion. The Urban Reach Dance Convention is giving aspiring dancers the chance to learn from some of the music industry's most acclaimed teachers, who have workedMore >>
Aspiring dancers hit the floor this weekend at the 8th annual Urban Reach Dance Convention.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-03-09 22:08:59 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
Sunday morning CCTA officials announced that after a marathon negotiation session they delivered a complete contract proposal to the union.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:52 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:52:05 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend. His office says the Governor was at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. He is expected toMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend.More >>