On June 15, a Washington State Trooper reportedly noticed a car driving without headlights on Second Street. The Trooper initiated a traffic stop near the 100 block of North Wenatchee Avenue. When the officer approached the vehicle, he allegedly saw what he believed to be evidence that the driver had been drinking, including flushed skin, slurred speech, an odor of alcohol and watery eyes.
The driver refused to take a field sobriety test or give a breath sample. He reportedly told police that he had consumed two beers earlier in the evening. The 30-year-old man was arrested for drunk driving. If convicted, he faces up to 364 days in a state jail and fines of up to $5,000. He has a criminal defense attorney and a hearing scheduled for Aug. 26.
What makes this relatively routine case notable is that the driver of the vehicle is an attorney for Johnson, Gaukroger, Smith and Marchant, a Wenatchee law firm that provides legal counsel to the city. The driver has acted as a prosecutor on behalf of the city in many DUI cases, as well as other non-felony offenses. He also worked as a prosecutor for Marysville. A partner with the accused man's law firm states that the driver has not worked on DUI cases for a few months. Because of the prior relationship, the Washington Attorney General's Office has filed papers asking to prosecute this case.
When a person is accused of driving under the influence, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help. It may be possible to dispute the original basis for the stop. If police take a blood sample without a search warrant, it may be possible to have the results suppressed. An attorney may also be able to fight the case at trial.
Source: The Wenatchee World, "City's former DUI prosecutor faces charge of DUI", Jefferson Robbins, July 18, 2013