SAN ANTONIO – During opening arguments in the intoxication assault trial of Zachery Brewer, 24, his lawyer said that Brewer was an inexperienced driver who was distracted by his passenger's behavior when he entered TPC Parkway going the wrong way on Nov. 14, 2013.
Brewer was giving his friend Jaime Hernandez a ride home from a bar where the pair had spent the evening drinking.
Adrian Perez, Brewer's lawyer, told the jury that Hernandez was on his phone arguing with his wife when he became angry and tossed the phone down. He said Brewer tried to pick up the phone.
"He reaches down to grab the phone just as he's turning with his accelerator on the gas," Perez told the jury. "And that is when the accident happened."
Brewer's car careened off an oncoming SUV before slamming head-on into a PT Cruiser. No one in either of those cars was injured, but Hernandez suffered critical injuries.
Prosecutor Eric Fuchs said that the wreck was result of Brewer's intoxication. He said that blood tests done at the hospital where Brewer was treated for minor injuries following the wreck showed that one hour after the accident, he had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, more than twice the legal limit.
Perez said he planned to challenge those hospital blood draws.
"The blood draw done by the hospital is inferior to the blood draws done by the police and therefore is not reliable evidence of intoxication," Perez said.
Fuchs said the hospital procedures are legally acceptable and accurate.
If he is found guilty, Brewer faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Testimony will resume on Wednesday in Judge Raymond Angelini's 187th District Court.