Toxicologist testifies Josh Brent had 17 drinks


The intoxication manslaughter trial of former Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent started Monday.  On Wednesday, a toxicologist offered testimony that, if accepted, would surely result in a conviction.

According to Rebecca Lopez of WFAA-TV, Justin Schwane testified that Brent’s blood-alcohol concentration of 0.18 percent means that, in light of his weight, he had consumed 17 drinks before driving a car that crashed and killed Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown.

At the time of the incident, Brent told police he had fewer than five drinks.

The estimate of 17 assumes that the alcohol concentration in Brent’s blood was accurately measured.  Brent’s counsel is challenging the integrity of the equipment and the handling of Brent’s blood sample.

Brent, who retired last year from the Cowboys and presumably would be inclined to return to football if he avoids incarceration, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Evidence of Brent’s blood-alcohol concentration was introduced despite, as we understand it, an objection based on a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that limits the ability of the authorities to draw blood without a warrant.  If Brent is found guilty, an appeal court could overturn the conviction.