North Carolina Man Found Guilty of DWI Breath Test Refusal
A former state legislator took his DWI case to trial earlier this week. On June 29 the former legislator had an encounter with police outside a restaurant in Burlington. The legislator told the officer he did not want to talk because he had been drinking beer.
Roughly a half-hour later, Burlington police conducted a traffic stop as the man was driving home. After an investigation, the man was charged with DWI on allegations of breath test refusal.
During pretrial hearings the accused attempted to have the charge dismissed arguing that officers did not have sufficient evidence to conduct the traffic stop and lacked probable cause to charge the man with DWI. The judge denied the challenges and the matter proceeded to trial.
Law enforcement claimed that the accused used his tongue to block the airflow into the Intoxilyzer unit during several attempts to perform the breath test. The accused reportedly had told the Times-News after the arrest that he had bronchitis on the night of the arrest.
After several attempts to perform the test, the arresting officer testified that he believed the accused was willfully refusing to provide an adequate test sample. A videotape shown in court shows the man asking the officer to allow him to take the breath test one more time. He reportedly could be heard saying he had not been told how hard he had to blow.
Bartenders at both establishments in Burlington testified at trial that the man had ordered only one beer in each of their restaurants that night. One bartender said the man did not finish the one ordered at the establishment where the bartender worked.
The accused was found guilty of the North Carolina DWI charge. The judge sentenced the former legislator as a Level 5 DWI. The judge imposed a suspended 60-day sentence. The man was fined 0 plus court costs, he must complete 24 hours community service within 30 days and make an appointment for a substance abuse assessment. He is on probation for 18 months.
Source: Greensboro News & Record, “Allred convicted of drunken driving,” 18 Nov 2010