Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Appeals court ponders nature of the Whizzinator

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge whizzinator.jpg

A Missouri appeals court recently took up an interesting question: Does the use of a Whizzinator constitute forgery?

Robert Smothers of Moberly, Missouri, was subject to drug testing as a condition of his bond. Smothers was submitting a sample when a police officer administering the test heard a snapping noise. Asked about the suspicious ruckus, Smith allegedly admitted to using a Whizzinator device.

Randolph County charged Smothers with forgery and possession of forging instrumentality. Bogus, said Smith's lawyer, who argued that the state's forgery laws did not apply to urine samples. A circuit court agreed, and the charges were dismissed in 2008.

The prosecutor appealed, asserting that Smothers acted with a purpose to defraud.

The Court of Appeals for western Missouri sided with the

prosecutor. In a ruling released Tuesday, the court accepted the

argument that Smothers, if he indeed used a Whizzinator, denied the state the genuine sample to which it was entitled.

The court held that the forgery statute was broad enough to include a urine sample. The court noted another case in which a faked vehicle identification number qualified under the statute.

In the end, only the mechanics of Whizzination baffled the court of appeals. Smothers purportedly used dehydrated urine. In rendering its decision, the appeals court noted that the case record was unclear as to how the dried pee was converted into a more authentic-seeming substance.

The decision remands Smothers' criminal case back to Randolph County.

(Image via Flickr: WhoDat12)

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