Governmental Employees are not immune from being arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence
Despite what you might think, government employees are not immune to DUI's. Over the past few years, we have seen a statewide elected official and several county and city officials arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. Here's a look at two recent DUI cases from the Seattle area involving governmental employees:
The first example involves a Snohomish County judge who handles DUI cases. Washington State Patrol stopped Snohomish County District Court Judge Timothy Ryan when he was traveling on the Bothell-Everett Highway. Patrol Sgt. Kirk Rudeen said that the judge's car was pulled over after it was observed to be drifting outside its lane and going 53 mph in a 45 mph zone. Ryan was reportedly polite, but smelled strongly of alcohol according to the patrol sergeant. In addition, Ryan exhibited other signs of intoxication, including having bloodshot, watery eyes, a flushed complexion and slurred speech. According to State Patrol reports, Ryan refused to take a field-sobriety or breathalyzer test. Ryan told the troopers that he had had a beer with another judge prior to being stopped.
In Washington State, any driver who is pulled over for a suspected DUI is subject to a two-year license suspension if he refuses a breath test. Now, Ryan faces DUI charges.
The other government employee recently charged with DUI is a Seattle police officer. Narcotics officer John Fox allegedly caused a multi-car crash in October of 2011 while driving under the influence. Rather than facing jail time, Fox will comply with a five-year probation plan. The Seattle Times blog reports that "Fox is paying $1,500 for a deferred prosecution option that will put him on two years of active probation, which requires more check-ins, followed by three years of more loosely monitored probation, according to the court." Under the DUI charge, Fox could face up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. The deferred prosecution option can be used only once, so if Fox is arrested for a subsequent DUI, it will no longer be available to him.
Currently, Fox's license is suspended because he refused a breathalyzer test at the station. After the one-year suspension is up, he will have to use an ignition interlock device, which measures the driver's blood alcohol content level before the car will start. However, Fox's legal woes don't end there.
Another driver involved in the collision, Scott Pratt, is suing Fox for damages that the city won't pay for. At the time of the crash, Fox was driving a city-owned car as an off-duty undercover cop.
Depending on the resulting damage, having a DUI conviction can be very messy, which is why you should immediately consult with a Seattle DUI attorney to learn your options. At Wolff Defense, our attorneys are skilled and experienced in fighting DUI cases. We have represented individuals from all types of backgrounds and demographics. Call us today for a free case evaluation.