Josh Huff was acquitted on charges of DUII Thursday after a jury trial in a Eugene municipal court. It was a rather surprising result considering, according to the Eugene Register-Guard:
Junction City police officer Brian Paterson told the jury that he had concluded that Huff was under the influence of marijuana. Huff’s pupils were dilated, his blood pressure was elevated and he performed less than perfectly on a series of balance tests, Paterson testified.
And oh yes, Huff's urine test also came back positive for marijuana metabolites. But here's my favorite part of the story:
Smith asked Jones to run Huff through a series of field sobriety tests at the scene of the traffic stop. While a police video of the roadside exam appeared to show Huff performing generally well, he swayed, raised his arms and occasionally hopped on one leg while trying to stand still and maintain his balance for 30 seconds during one test.
“You’ve definitely had something to drink,” the tape shows Jones telling Huff as she placed him in handcuffs. Huff promised Jones that he hadn’t, but later admitted to having one drink of liquor several hours earlier.
Huff testified that his wobbly performance on the test was due to the cold late-winter weather — as well as the fact that he’s never been able to stand still on one leg for very long.
“I’ve always had trouble balancing,” Huff told the jury, adding that although it didn’t help that he had major surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left leg just six weeks earlier, “I wouldn’t say it was the surgery that was causing me balance problems.”
Prosecutor Dan Barkovic challenged Huff by questioning how his stated inability to balance on one leg didn’t hinder his ability as a pass-catcher.
“My (football) play has nothing to do with my balance,” Huff said. He offered from the witness stand to “show (Barkovic) right now” that he couldn’t remain steady while standing on one leg, but the prosecutor declined, saying Huff’s sworn testimony would suffice.
Having seen some of Huff's amazing catches on the football field, I would never have thought balance would be a problem for him. But hey, good for him. He beat the rap and for Duck football fans, that's the important thing. But if he wants to play at the next level, I think he better get to work on that balance problem and how it's affected by cold weather.
He may have to play in Green Bay someday.