The appeals court held that the evidence was insufficient as a matter of law and reversed the conviction outright:
The evidence offered by respondent did not include a temporal link between appellant's driving and his being under the influence of alcohol, and the circumstantial evidence of appellant's inebriation was not inconsistent with any rational hypothesis other than guilt. The jury heard no evidence to establish at what time appellant drove to the Walmart store, how long he was in the store, or whether he consumed alcohol after driving to Walmart. Further, the vehicle's keys were not in appellant's possession when he was approached by police. Given that each element of an offense must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, we agree that respondent failed to meet its burden of proof in this case.The State also tried to argue that the breath alcohol concentration created circumstantial evidence in support of the guilty finding. The court retorted: appellant was not apprehended while driving his vehicle, and the evidence of the amount of alcohol consumed by appellant bears no relation in time to his driving conduct, other than that the alcohol was consumed on the same day that appellant drove his vehicle.
As finally stated by the court: "Given that each element of an offense must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, we agree that respondent failed to meet its burden of proof in this case."
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