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Washington top cop arrested on drunk driving charges

A man who held the position of police commander has been arrested and subsequently fired from his position on the force. The man, who had served more than a decade and a half as an officer, was arrested on drunk driving charges. The Washington man is fighting the charges and is arguing against his termination.

The arrest took place in January. The former chief was allegedly observed operating his car in an erratic fashion as well as not using his headlamps at night. The arrest occurred in the overnight hours. The trooper who initiated the traffic stop was accompanied by a county prosecutor who was there to observe. The man did agree to sobriety screening at the scene, but he did not consent to a breath test.

In addition to the refusal to take a breath test, he was accused of being argumentative with the arresting officer. The man has been alleged to have had an alcohol level in his system that was measured at .055 percent, and then also at .058 percent when he later submitted to a breath test, apparently about two hours following his arrest. Those levels are below the .08 required for a DUI conviction. He has since also been the subject of an internal department investigation.

This man has been summarily discharged from his duties as findings from the department's investigation purportedly determined that he did not adhere to departmental policies both off and on-duty on multiple occasions, though no specific examples were offered. The breath test that was administered to the former chief recorded an alcohol level that was, in fact, below the legal limit in Washington state. While the specific amount of time that elapsed between the man's arrest and the test was not reported, the results of the breath test may play an important part in the upcoming criminal proceedings. He has entered a not guilty plea in response to the drunk driving charges. He is entitled to review the evidence that the prosecutors may seek to use against him and to launch a vigorous defense in an attempt to clear his name.

Source: heraldnet.com, "Mountlake Terrace police commander fired after DUI arrest", Rikki King, May 2, 2014

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