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Alleged drunk driver arrested after driving through a Charlotte park

Police in Charlotte pursued and arrested a man believed to have been driving drunk through a park downtown at 400 W. Seventh Street last month. The 24 year old man is accused of causing more than $2,500 in the park.

The Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation department reports the incident that occurred before midnight back on Saturday, January 16th resulted in damage to a park sign, garbage can and park bench in downtown Charlotte. Police were called to the scene after being informed by a person who claims to have seen the man driving through the park.

Charlotte police later caught up with the alleged drunk driver, charging him with reckless driving, hit and run, driving without a license, failure to heed blue lights and sirens, resisting a public officer and driving under the influence. The man was released from jail on a $4,200 bond while awaiting trial.

There are certain things you should always do in these scenarios to put you in the best position to later fight drunk driving charges:

  • When an officer turns on the lights and sirens, pull over quickly and safely, using your turn signal.
  • After stopping, roll down your window all the way, turn on the light inside your vehicle if it's dark outside, turn off your car and place your hands on the wheel.
  • You do have the right to remain silent. It's perfectly ok to exercise this right, especially if you think you may stumble over your words and inadvertently appear intoxicated.
  • Do not get out of your vehicle unless instructed to do so. Police officers are trained to go on the defense if someone gets out of a vehicle before being instructed to do so.
  • Field sobriety test results are subjective, often used to the advantage of the police officer. It is not necessary to submit to these tests, as they do not necessarily provide objective data.
  • Though accuracy of Breathalyzer tests can be as inaccurate as field sobriety tests, all 50 states have an Implied Consent Law where drivers' license-holders have already agreed to the testing of your breath, blood or urine at the request of the police. Most often, your license will automatically be suspended for refusing to blow. Sometimes this is a better option than providing the police with firm evidence of your blood alcohol content, though such evidence doesn't necessarily equate to a DUI conviction if you have a solid DUI attorney on your side.

Source: WBTV.com "Drunk driver causes $2,500 in damage after driving through park, police say" 1/17/11

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