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Maryland school dean jailed after failing field sobriety tests

A Maryland school administrator was recently sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to driving under the influence for the second time in less than a year. The arresting officer had administered field sobriety tests, but stopped them when the man lost his balance.

The judge reportedly said that he sentenced the man to incarceration because of the previous offense, and because the second offense could have resulted in the endangerment of a child.

The man was picking up his young daughter after school when another parent noticed that he appeared intoxicated. The parent notified a school employee, who removed the man’s daughter from his car and took away his keys.

The man was subjected to unspecified field sobriety tests but, according to officials, the man had difficulty understanding the instructions. The officer stopped the tests after the man lost his balance.

These roadside tests are generally performed as a way to determine probable cause for administering a Breathalyzer or blood test. Standardized field sobriety tests should only pave the way for tests that in some cases more likely to be legally admissible, such as the Breathalyzer.

It is possible that the man failed to follow the DUI test instructions because he was distracted by concerns about his daughter. Regardless of the reason, he was arrested.

Whatever the facts are in the case, it’s important that in each case the totality of circumstances be taken into consideration. An experienced attorney can review accounts of the arrest and determine whether the DUI arrest was appropriate and handled correctly.

Source: Delmarvanow.com, "Wicomico school administrator jailed in DUI case,” Vanessa Junkin, June 13, 2013

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