The DUI/DWI charges that were brought against a Maryland police officer were recently dropped. The officer had been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint back on St. Patrick's Day.
The officer that was arrested reportedly had refused to submit to a blood alcohol test. According to his attorney, prosecutors in this case did not have enough evidence to go forward with a trial. Evidence was apparently lacking that would have shown any signs of impairment on his part.
Even in a case where drunken driving is alleged, the burden of proof still remains upon arresting law enforcement officers and the prosecution to prove up the case. And especially when it comes to individuals pulled over at sobriety checkpoints or are asked to submit to a number of field sobriety tests, the criteria as to whether anyone is impaired is often based upon the subjective observations of the arresting officer.
Criminal defense attorneys can help those accused of driving under the influence by making certain any evidence admitted into a trial is relevant and reliable. When there is no scientific basis to back up that a person was driving while impaired, the courts have to be extremely careful in ordering jail time or assessing fines upon individuals that could possibly be innocent.
The consequences of being charged with a DUI or DWI involves more than criminal penalties. In the above matter, the officer that was arrested at one point headed a precinct in Maryland. He had since been transferred to another unit following his arrest, and the police department for which he worked are still in the process of reviewing his status. This arrest has likely turned his entire life upside down.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "DUI/DWI charges dropped against ex-Balto. Co. precinct commander," by Jessica Anderson, June 17, 2013