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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

6.1-12  Assault in the Second Degree with a Motor Vehicle -- § 53a-60d

Revised to June 12, 2009

The defendant is charged [in count ___] with assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle when, while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of (intoxicating liquor / any drug / both), (he/she) causes serious physical injury to another person as a consequence of the effect of such (liquor / drug).

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Operated a motor vehicle
The first element is that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle.  A person "operates" a motor vehicle when, while in the vehicle, (he/she) intentionally does any act or makes use of any mechanical or electrical agency that alone or in sequence sets in motion the motive power of the vehicle.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: General, Instruction 2.3-1.>

Element 2 - While under the influence
The second element is that at the time, the defendant was under the influence of (intoxicating liquor / any drug / both).  A person is under the influence of (intoxicating liquor / any drug / both) when, as a result of drinking such beverage or introducing such drug or both into (his/her) system, (his/her) mental, physical, or nervous processes have become so affected that (he/she) lacks to an appreciable degree the ability to function properly in relation to the operation of a motor vehicle. 
 It is for you to determine if the defendant was operating under the influence of (intoxicating liquor / any drug / both).  That is, you must decide in view of all the other evidence in the case, whether the amount of (liquor consumed / drugs used) by the defendant so affected (his/her) mental, nervous and physical processes that (he/she) lacked to an appreciable degree the ability to function properly with relation to the operation of (his/her) automobile. 

Element 3 - Caused serious physical injury
The third element is that the defendant's intoxication was the proximate cause of serious physical injury to <insert name of person injured>. You must find it proved beyond a reasonable doubt that <insert name of person injured> was injured as a result of the defendant's intoxication. <See Proximate Cause, Instruction 2.6-1.>

"Serious physical injury" is something more serious than mere physical injury, which is defined as "impairment of physical condition or pain."  It is more than a minor or superficial injury.  It is defined by statute as "physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health or serious loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ."  

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was operating a motor vehicle, 2) the defendant was under the influence of (intoxicating liquor / drug / both), and 3) the defendant's intoxication was the proximate cause of the serious physical injury to <insert name of person injured>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.

Commentary

The prima facie "provisions of [General Statutes] § 14-227a (d) do not apply to a prosecution of assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle while intoxicated in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60d (a)."  State v. Leroy, 16 Conn. App. 472, 477 (1988).
 


 

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