While reviewing news today, I was stunned to learn of an officer in Pennsylvania who was arrested while on duty for Driving while Intoxicated… that’s right, DWI. An officer had a collision with a wall and subsequent investigation led to the determination that he was under the influence of alcohol. The complete story is available here for anyone who wants to read more about it.
Now, as a criminal defense attorney in Austin, Texas, who routinely defends persons accused of Driving while Intoxicated, I was very interested in reading this story because the officer, who knows the "tricks of the trade" better than the average citizen he has probably stopped on countless occasions submitted to testing.
What I do not know is whether he submitted to testing as a condition of his employment with the police department or whether he submitted to testing as a personal choice, which merely gives evidence that could be used against him in a subsequent prosecution… the subtext here, when asked to provide a breath or blood specimen, at least in Texas, it is this lawyer and former cop’s opinion that you should absolutely refuse.
While you may lose your driver’s license for a bit longer period of time, there is no reason to provide evidence to be used against you.
In sum, I’m glad to see that at least in this one instance, the Thin Blue Line was actually thinner and the case was filed against this officer… I hope this is one that I can follow through to resolution. If anyone else has information on this story, I hope you post it to this blog.