A former aide for North Carolina politician John Edwards has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk. The defendant, age 48, was taken into custody on June 8 after a traffic stop in Raleigh. Authorities say that the man is accused of DWI in connection with the incident, but he is also facing allegations of child abuse because his teenage son was in the vehicle at the time of the incident.
Official reports show that the man's encounter with officers began after the man allegedly struck another person's vehicle with his hand after an altercation at a concert. Police said that the man was upset because two vehicles had cut each other off as they were leaving the venue. The defendant apparently had glassy eyes and otherwise appeared intoxicated. He also failed sobriety tests.
However, the defendant refused to take a breath test in connection with the drunk driving arrest. In compliance with state law, officers seized the man's driver's license. The decision to refuse a breath test during an arrest for drunk driving can be a controversial one, as defendants can still be convicted of DWI even without Breathalyzer evidence. Further, defendants automatically surrender their ability to drive when they refuse to comply with a breath test request. In this case, officers were able to obtain a warrant to take a blood sample; the results of that analysis have not been released.
The defendant in this case was released after he posted a bond of $2,000. News reports do not contain information about the future of the man's case. Defendants who are facing multiple offenses -- such as drunk driving and child abuse -- may need to use different criminal defense strategies than those who are facing single first-time offenses. It is important to remember that an arrest for drunk driving does not mean that the defendant is automatically considered guilty.
Source: The News and Observer, "Andrew Young , former Edwards aide, charged with DWI by Raleigh police" Ron Gallagher, Jun. 09, 2014