When the Maryland State Police responded to an accident on the Capital Beltway recently, several lanes of traffic needed to be shut down for the investigation and clean up of the crash. A county police officer was directing traffic at the scene when a vehicle swerved out of the only open lane of traffic and grazed the officer. A news helicopter captured the alleged drunk driving incident.
The 58-year-old driver remained at the scene. According to law enforcement officials, a breath test given to the driver indicated he had a blood alcohol level of .22. This is nearly three times Maryland's legal limit. As a result, the man faces a charge of driving under the influence. He was also cited for not controlling his speed in order to avoid an accident.
The Montgomery County officer was not significantly injured, according to reports and footage from the news helicopter. The footage also showed that the officer was visibly angered by the incident. At one point, he shoved the driver to the ground and had to be escorted away by a firefighter. His actions are being investigated.
While the department determines what disciplinary action is necessary for the officer, if any, the investigation into the alleged drunk driving accident continues. The driver is entitled to a number of important legal rights, and the admissibility of the video may play an important role in the video proceedings. It will be up to prosecutors to prove the accused man's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. He retains the right to challenge the evidence that prosecutors intend to present in court.
Source: CBS Baltimore, "Driver Charged With DUI After Hitting Montgomery Co. Police Officer", Mike Hellgren, July 3, 2014