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West Virginia DOT spokesman faces drunk driving charge

News sources report that a man associated with an agency that works to reduce the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents on West Virginia roadways is now facing a drunk driving charge. According to a criminal complaint filed by law enforcement officials in Charleston, the Department of Transportation's director of communications was charged with DUI after allegedly failing a series of breath tests on Dec. 6. The complaint indicates that the 50-year-old man was pulled over by police at approximately 11:40 p.m.

According to reports, the traffic stop occurred at the intersection of Louden Heights Road and Bridge Road after the state DOT spokesman failed to use a turn signal properly while changing lanes. The man told the officer that he had had a few drinks earlier, and after noting the odor of alcohol emanating from the man, police administered a breath test. Results of two preliminary tests as well as those of a later Intoxymeter test showed a blood alcohol concentration level higher than .08 percent, which is the legal limit for driving in this state. The man also allegedly failed the three standardized field sobriety tests that were administered at the site.

The alleged drunk driver was charged with a misdemeanor, DUI first offense, with arraignment following in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. As of press time, the director has declined to comment regarding this drunk driving incident. However, he has indicated that he does plan to meet with his attorney to review the preliminary facts of the case.

Among the items that will likely be discussed during this meeting are the results of the field sobriety tests and the breath tests and the manner in which both were administered. If authorities failed to follow strict protocols while collecting the evidence or if any of the equipment used was not calibrated correctly, it is possible that this case could be resolved in favor of the charged driver.

Source: WC Gazette, "State DOT spokesman", Erin Beck, December 09, 2014

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