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Chief arrests driver for DWI after helping change tire

An alleged drunk driver was arrested after an unlikely encounter with the police chief of a Maryland town. The police chief from Laurel, Maryland, apparently arrested a 28-year-old defendant for driving under the influence after he stopped to help the motorist change a flat tire on May 12. The defendant was experiencing vehicle difficulties at the intersection of routes 197 and 198, according to news reports.

Authorities say that the defendant had already been charged for another DUI on April 22, after he was reportedly apprehended at the intersection of Contee Road and Laurel Bowie Road. During the most recent encounter, the man was transported to police barracks for a sobriety test. A Breathalyzer showed that the man's blood alcohol content level was 0.36 percent, which is more than four times the legal limit for driving in the state of Maryland. It is not clear whether the defendant knew about his right to refuse a blood alcohol test. In some cases, defendants avoid taking a Breathalyzer in exchange for an automatic 120-day license suspension.

The police chief said he became suspicious of the man after he smelled alcohol on the defendant's breath at the scene. Further suspicions were raised after the defendant produced a temporary driver's license. Those are normally given to defendants facing DUI charges before legal proceedings are completed.

Criminal defendants facing DUI charges in Maryland should know that they have a variety of legal rights, including breath test refusal. It is important to remember that you can still be convicted of DUI even if you refuse the breath test. However, for some defendants with multiple offenses, like this man, a breath test refusal can sometimes be a useful option.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Laurel police chief stops alleged drunk driver" Andrea Yeager, May. 13, 2014

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