Last week, Murrieta Mayor Alan Long stepped down from his position after he was arrested the week prior on suspicion of drunken driving following an accident that resulted in four teenagers sustaining injuries, according to a news report at Reuters. Long, who is 44 years old, also resigned from his position as a city council member, although he announced he will seek a seat for the next term in the November 4 election.
The accident occurred when Long’s vehicle struck the back of a car stopped at an intersection, according to police. Four cheerleaders age 14 to 17 were inside the vehicle that was rear-ended; all four were injured.
Police said that Long’s blood alcohol level was .07 when he took a breath test, which is under the state’s legal limit of .08, however he failed field sobriety tests and “seemed” by police to be impaired. Long said that he resigned to avoid “even one hint of impropriety” during the legal process, however he fully expects to be exonerated of wrongdoing in regards to the drunken driving arrest. He did apologize for the accident that left the cheerleaders injured.
Long is scheduled to appear in court on the charges on December 11. He was arrested on suspicion of causing injury while driving under the influence.
The above incident is a perfect example of how even being accused of DUI can impact a person’s career. While Long’s blood alcohol content was below the legal limit, he did not pass the field sobriety test. To Michigan DUI defense attorneys, this is really no surprise. Whether an individual passes a field sobriety test is totally up to the opinion of the police officer who administers the test. Truthfully, it is difficult for many sober individuals to pass these tests, which include standing on one foot, walking toe-to-heel in a straight line, and more.
It is very unfortunate that four teenage girls were injured, however the accident certainly may have been due to factors other than drunken driving, considering Long’s breath test result.
Not only may someone’s career and reputation be negatively impacted by a DUI arrest, the criminal penalties for a conviction are also serious and may include jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, community service, and more. If you have been arrested or charged with driving under the influence, contact a capable and experienced Michigan DUI lawyer immediately to ensure your legal rights are protected, and the best possible outcome achieved.