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Florida man faces drunk driving charge

A veteran city attorney is facing his third DUI charge, according to local sources. The Florida official, who has worked for the city of St. Petersburg for 25 years, was charged with drunk driving in the early morning of Nov. 30. He has voluntarily given up his title but is still employed by the city at this time. 

The arrest reports indicate the man was pulled over around 1:40 a.m. after police officers allegedly observed him driving erratically, crossing over a double yellow line an estimated six times. Once pulled over, police said they suspected the man might have been drinking because of his appearance and an alleged odor of alcohol in the car. The man refused a field sobriety test, but police attest that he was unsteady on his feet. 

This is the man's third DUI charge in the last eight years. The first came in 2006 but was reduced to a reckless driving charge and resulted in a year's license suspension. The second was in 2008 to which he pleaded no contest. If he is convicted for this misdemeanor charge, he could lose his license a second time. It is also possible it could affect his employment. 

In order for the man to be found guilty for the drunk driving and test refusal charges, Florida prosecutors will need to provide compelling evidence for every step of the arrest process, from pulling the man over to the arrest itself. If it is determined that police did not follow proper protocol in processing the arrest, this could influence the outcome of the criminal trial. Additionally, if insufficient evidence of the man's allegedly intoxicated state exists, the case could be thrown out of court altogether. Alternatively, efforts may be made to negotiate a plea agreement with prosecutors in exchange for reduced charges and/or favorable consideration at sentencing.

Source: tampabay.com, "St. Pete assistant city attorney accused of DUI for third time", Kameel Stanley, Dec. 2, 2014

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