Former teen idol David Cassidy's said his "wandering eye" may have led him to drive erratically, but that would not likely hold up as a defense in his DUI arrest, an eye doctor tells Fox411.com. Cassidy, 60, pleaded not guilty Monday to DUI charges stemming from an arrest earlier this month.
In a recently released dash cam video of his arrest, he can be heard telling officers that he suffered from a “wandering eye as a child.”
“My right eye still wanders when I get tired,” Cassidy says in the video.
But according to Dr. Michael Ernhaus, the director of NY Cornea Consultants and the director of Cornea at SUNY Downstate, if the wandering eye was a problem since his childhood, it would have been a well documented issue that would not hold up as a defense.
Ehrnhaus, who does not treat Cassidy, tells FOX411.com, “If his eye had given him problems since childhood, the dominant eye would still be functioning. If when you’re tired, if your eye goes lazy and to the right, for example, your whole body won’t turn right. You don’t lose your motor skills.”
Furthermore, the department of motor vehicles would have picked up if he had those vision problems.
“You need to be able to see at least 20/40 in at least one eye to get your license with or without glasses,” Ehrnhaus said. “If he has those records dating back to prove the issue, then the argument becomes irrelevant because the state would have long been aware of his vision status. He would not have gotten his license if it was debilitating.”
“If his license required him to drive with glasses and he didn’t have them with him, then he would be in some trouble,” Ehrnhaus added.
Furthermore, if the lazy eye was acting up due to the reasons he offered, it would not be the eye itself, but rather the condition, be it medicine, fatigue or another substance, that was causing his vision to blur.
“Many of us drive when we are too tired, but it’s not our eyes to blame in that case, it’s simply that we are tired,” Ehrnhaus added.
If the issue had not been a documented one and this was the first time his eyes were giving him problems, he could have suffered from double vision, but it would be hard to prove in court, Ehrnhaus said.
“Sometimes, if you normally have two functioning eyes and have a sudden issue, you can have double vision, but it would be difficult to replicate,” he explained. “He would likely have to submit to a vision test, under the same circumstances of being tired and on the same medication.”
Even if Cassidy were to prove vision problems were a factor in erratic driving, it would not explain his failed field tests and breathalyzer results.
According to the police report Cassidy blew a 0.130 and 0.141 – well over the .08 legal limit.
But while the dash cam video shows him revealing issues with his back and his vision, the Florida Highway Patrol report also said he told officers he’d had a glass of wine at lunch, in addition to prescription medication and hydrocodone.
The trooper reported smelling alcohol coming from his breath and finding a half-empty bottle of bourbon in the car.
Cassidy’s camp maintains that he was not drunk at the time of his arrest.
The former "Partridge Family" star is due back in court in January.
Published November 30, 2010 | FoxNews.com
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.