Chairman of the liquor license commission in Prince George County, Maryland was arrested this December and charged with a DUI after crashing into two vehicles outside the grand opening of an MGM National Harbor Casino which he had just left.
According to the police report, the chair of the liquor board, Charles Caldwell, was charged at 11:40 pm when police were called to the scene after a minor collision involving three cars. Caldwell failed the field sobriety test after the breathalyzer failed to obtain an accurate reading. Police reports indicate that the breathalyzer was not working because Caldwell “refused to keep his head still during the breath test, preventing officers from completing the procedure and obtaining a reading of his blood alcohol concentration.” After failing the test, he was taken into police custody.
Since the arrest, Caldwell has publicly denied that he was in any way impaired. He says that it was his age, not his state of mind, which caused him to fail the field sobriety test. He a public comment he stated, “Yes — unfortunately I'm 72 turning 73 next week, and I'm a little unsteady on my feet.”
Police say that, during the arrest, Caldwell repeatedly cited his position on the liquor license board and asked them, “Is there any way we could make this go away?” Reportedly, Caldwell did not remember the crash when talking to the police, had to lean against the police cruiser to “maintain balance” and fell down “at least three times.” He was also described as “cocky, uncooperative, and sarcastic” during his interaction with the police.
Caldwell was appointed chairman of the Prince George County Board of License Commissioners last year and is responsible for approving and distributing liquor licenses to local businesses in Prince George County, which lies just east of central Washington D.C. In addition to the DUI charge, Caldwell will also face penalties for reckless driving and related traffic offenses.
If someone is suspected of a DUI in the state of Washington, police have their “implied consent” to administer a breathalyzer test. This means that, by getting behind the wheel in the state of Washington, you are giving your consent to submit to a breathalyzer and/or blood test when you are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, in the field, the breathalyzer test is optional, and can be refused, along with the field sobriety test. If you are eventually convicted of a DUI, this refusal leads to a harsher minimum sentencing, but if the tests are refused, the police officer may have no probable cause to arrest you and take you to the police station for a mandatory breathalyzer or blood test.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Washington and refused to take either the breathalyzer or field sobriety test, or both, you deserve an experienced lawyer who can help you navigate the complicated world of DUI prosecution and defense. To get started, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi today at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.
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