A Dallas police officer was recently charged with driving while intoxicated after fleeing the scene of an alcohol-related accident late on Monday. The 25-year-old officer was also accused of failing to give up information. Both charges are Class B misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months jail time.
According to another motorist, the defendant had been stopped at a stoplight in a left turn lane, and collided with his vehicle by going straight once the light turned green. He also claims that she fled the scene, but that he eventually caught up to her.
Officers claim that when they met Montanez, she had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and lost her balance. She also allegedly admitted to having several drinks at Northpark Mall.
Montanez reportedly refused to take field sobriety tests at the scene, and later on refused to take breath or blood tests to determine her blood alcohol level.
Without commenting directly about this case, it is important for drivers to have an understanding of when it is a good idea to refuse to comply with officers and when it is not a good idea to do so.
Motorists do have the right to refuse to take field sobriety tests during a DWI stop, and this may be a good idea when one plans to fight the arrest. Refusing to take a breath test, though, can result in revocation of one's license, and harsher penalties if one is convicted later on. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible to think everything through when one is arrested.
Working with an attorney can help one determine whether there are any grounds to challenge the charges, whether on the legitimacy of the stop, the legitimacy of the tests, and adherence to police procedure. Other possibilities may be a plea deal or treatment options.
Whatever the case may be, having an attorney can help one get the best outcome in a case.
Source: Dallas Morning News, "Dallas officer arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, leaving the scene of accident," Tanya Eiserer, July, 10, 2012