Jury clears man of felony, but convicts him of lesser drinking and driving charge

NORWICH – Deliberating for a little over an hour Wednesday, a jury found an Oxford man not guilty of felony driving while intoxicated, but guilty of driving while ability impaired, a misdemeanor.

Norwich City Police arrested 29-year-old Thomas Toomer II on May 7 along Park St. after a patrol noticed his vehicle crossing the center divide line on Mitchell Street. They said they followed his vehicle for a short period of time.

Toomer was traveling with a passenger so intoxicated that officers testified they were unable to communicate with him or even get his name. Toomer admitted in a video recording at the Norwich Police Station that he was giving the man a ride home from the bar because his friend was too drunk to drive at around 1 a.m. on the night in question. Taking the stand in his own defense Wednesday, Toomer testified he didn’t have a single drink all day long.

Toomer was facing up to four years in state prison over the felony charges, but is now looking at a maximum of 180 days in local jail for his misdemeanor conviction.

Toomer told the court he had been pulled over earlier in the day by another law enforcement agency while traveling along State Highway 12 between Oxford and Norwich and was released without receiving any tickets prior to his DWI arrest in the city.

Norwich City Police Officer Timothy Annesi testified he was only able to perform one of the three standardized field sobriety tests before Toomer refused to cooperate and began demanding a lawyer.

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