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Were field sobriety tests correctly administered in DUI arrest?

A commissioner of a Maryland county was arrested for driving under the influence and other charges in the evening hours of Jan. 30. The arrest was made based on field sobriety tests conducted at the time of the traffic stop. When the commissioner later took a Breathalyzer test, his blood alcohol content was reportedly above the state's legal limit of .08.

The arresting officer claims that the Charles County Commissioner Vice President's driving was erratic and this was her basis for the traffic stop. She further claims that he failed all of the field sobriety tests given to him. At that time, she placed him under arrest and transported him to the Charles County Detention Center where a Breathalyzer test was administered.

Regardless of this man's position, he has the same rights as anyone else accused of a crime. It is the responsibility of the arresting officer and personnel at the detention center to ensure that all testing was done in accordance with current regulations and Maryland laws. A thorough review of every aspect of his arrest could be in the accused man's best interests.

Should it be discovered that mistakes were made during any point in the process, the man's charges could be reduced or even dismissed. One of the tenets of our legal system is the presumption of innocence until and unless the prosecution can prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt. For instance, if one of the field sobriety tests or the Breathalyzer test was somehow improperly administered, the court could reasonably doubt the veracity of the testing, in which case guilt may not be proved.

Source: thebaynet.com, Commissioner Collins arrested for driving under the influence, No author, Jan. 31, 2014

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