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Governor's son hits guardrail, arrested for drunk driving

The son of the Arkansas governor was arrested on Sunday, Jan. 25, for DWI, careless driving and refusing to submit to a breath test. For refusing to submit to the test, William Asa Hutchinson III, who is 40, will get an automatic six-month suspension of his driver's license. He was arrested for drunk driving by Arkansas State Police on the southbound exit ramp of Interstate 49, according to police records.

The police say he crashed into a guardrail with his vehicle. He told police that he had fallen asleep. Reports indicate that the police smelled the odor of alcohol upon approaching the vehicle, and they smelled it also on the suspect's person. Troopers reported that his eyes were blood shot and watery, his speech slurred, and that he was slow to respond to questions, including his incorrect answer as to the direction in which he had been traveling.

The physical characteristics described by police are all classic signs of inebriation, which are often used to establish probable cause for stops and arrests. The failure to take a breath test does not guarantee someone a strong defense to a drunk driving charge, because officers can, in some cases, still prove the DWI elements based on all of the other facts surrounding the occurrence. In addition to the automatic suspension of the license, the  refusal to take the test prevents the individual from getting a special operating license for work purposes.

Because the defendant is a celebrity of sorts, it may make little sense for him to fight the charge, as it could damage his public reputation. For an average citizen, the pros and cons of a defense should be discussed in detail by a defendant and his or her defense counsel. There are defenses that an experienced drunk driving attorney can put recommend. Furthermore, lawyers who are familiar with DWI cases in Arkansas are also more likely to know the intricacies of negotiating plea deals and other possible outcomes.   

Source: 5newsonline.com, "Arkansas Governor's Son Arrested On Suspicion Of DWI Following Crash", Zuzanna Sitek, Jan. 25, 2016

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