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Former Utah mayor charged with DUI

The former mayor of a Utah town who resigned in February after being arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving that month was formally charged with DUI on March 5. The case is an example of how a DUI arrest can impact a person's career even before the charges are adjudicated.

The defendant was arrested after being in a minor car accident in Helper, where he was elected mayor in 2010. Police administered a breath test that allegedly measured the defendant's blood-alcohol level at 0.169. If that test is accurate, it would be more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

It was the second time the defendant was arrested during his term as mayor. He was arrested in November 2011 on suspicion of DUI and pleaded guilty in May to misdemeanor impaired driving and having an open container in his vehicle. He was sentenced to one year of probation. He also reportedly pleaded guilty to DUI in 1991.

The former mayor was charged on March 5 with DUI and being an alcohol-restricted driver. Both charges are class B misdemeanors, which in Utah carry base sentences of up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000 apiece.

Those possible punishments alone would be enough for most people charged with DUI to hire a defense attorney. Another thing to consider is that DUI charges can stain their reputation, even though only in most cases only the government has had the chance to give its side of the story. An experienced DUI defense attorney can examine the prosecution's case and spot possible holes in their story or illegal procedures that can change the complexion of the case.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, "Helper's former mayor charged with DUI," Janelle Stecklein, March 11, 2013

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