Motorists can easily become stranded, involved in an accident or both during snowy winter weather. During a recent snowstorm that blew through Maryland, troopers were on patrol to search for drivers that may have met such a fate. One trooper found a vehicle and its driver stranded in a ditch on Route 610. The trooper rescued the driver, only to take him into custody for DUI and other offenses.
The man was driving a vehicle owned by his employer at approximately 10 p.m. on Jan. 21. The heavy snowfall caused the driver to lose control and run off into the ditch. Fortunately, the trooper happened by and came to the man's aid.
However, the Maryland State Police trooper claims that, when he spoke to the driver, he smelled alcohol on him. Additional on scene investigation led to an allegation that the man's driver's license was suspended. Police contacted the driver's employer regarding the vehicle and were told the man did not receive permission to drive it. The man refused to take a breath test, and it is unknown what other testing the officer might have conducted to determine the man was impaired.
Authorities charged the driver with DUI, driving with a suspended license and taking his employer's vehicle without permission. Since the man refused to submit to a breath test, the determination of whether he was impaired may turn on the testimony of the officer. If the trooper is unable to convince the court the driver was intoxicated, that charge could be dismissed. The man retains the right to defend himself against all of the pending charges. He is presumed innocent until and unless proven otherwise by competent and relevant evidence that meets the strict standards of the criminal justice system.
Source: delmarvanow.com, Police: Trooper finds car off snowy road, and a drunken driver, No author, Jan. 22, 2014