FAIRFIELD — A jury Friday found a former Suisun Marina tour boat operator not guilty of charges of boating under the influence and recklessly operating a commercial marine craft.
Daniel “Captain Dan” Thiemann had waved to a pair of Suisun City police officers from behind the wheel of his tour boat, the 45-foot California Sunset, as he was returning to port on the night of Sept. 6, 2009.
What Thiemann, 53, did not realize is that two hours earlier, as he had set out on his tour to cruise the bay waters with his passengers, an anonymous caller reported Thiemann drinking and bringing beer on board.
The officers put Thiemann through a series of field sobriety tests capped off by having him blow into a portable breathalyzer device. The breathalyzer measured Thiemann’s blood alcohol content at .13 percent, above the legal limit of .08 percent. He was handcuffed, arrested and charged with a pair of misdemeanor crimes.
A month after his arrest, Thiemann folded his marina tour business that operated for four years. He sold the California Sunset to a company in Marina Del Rey.
After several delays, a jury trial for Thiemann got under way earlier this week. The skipper hired one of Fairfield’s top defense attorneys, Denis Honeychurch. The veteran lawyer researched his client’s arrest and police report and discovered something buried in the Police Department maintenance records of the breathalyzer that had offered up damning evidence against Thiemann.
The breathalyzer had been checked for accuracy just a few days before Thiemann’s arrest, but the next time it was checked for accuracy it was found to be defective.
It took the jury less than 15 minutes of deliberation to acquit Thiemann.
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