Concerns over prescription drug tolerance delays trial

By Kelly McCarthy

September 3, 2013 Updated Sep 4, 2013 at 12:03 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Jaclyn Wesley's tolerance to prescription drugs made her better able to operate her SUV, despite the fact she was legally drunk, her attorneys said in Broome County Court.

The 25-year-old Wesley is accused of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.13 in May of 2011, when all three of her passengers were killed in a car crash.

Wesley was behind the wheel along Interstate 88 in the town of Fenton when her Ford Explorer went off the road and into the Chenango River.

She was the only survivor, and later charged with drunk driving and three counts of vehicular manslaughter.

Her trial resumed Tuesday morning with prosecutors continuing to present their case. It had been on hold since mid-August after prosecutors asked to see Wesley's prescription history.

A portion of her medical history was allowed into evidence for the prosecution, while the defense retained a copy of her full records, citing doctor-patient confidentiality.

Prosecutors told the judge they will not rest their case until they've seen her entire medical history.

Samples of Wesley's blood taken after the accident showed traces of prescription drugs that are commonly used to treat depression, according to testimony.

A forensic toxicologist testified that mixing those drugs with alcohol -- another depressant -- can increase drowsiness, disorientation and impair motor skills.

Wesley's attorneys argued there is no way to tell if their client's intoxication was caused solely by drinking alcohol and not the combination of drinks and drugs.

Judge Joseph Cawley granted full access to Wesley's entire medical history and the trial is scheduled to resume Sept. 13.