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NC DWI charges dismissed against bike riding assistant DA

Driving while impaired charges filed against a North Carolina assistant district attorney were recently dropped after his defense argued that the prosecutor had insufficient evidence to support the allegations. The DWI charges followed an investigation of a bicycle accident at a golf course at a hotel. Police found the man injured from the bicycle accident and later grew suspicious that the man was under the influence.

The man suspected of riding a bicycle while impaired refused to submit to a breath test. Officers apparently believed that the man was impaired and a criminal case was brought against the man, apparently based upon the officer's suspicion of impairment.

Greenville DWI defense lawyers are aware that North Carolina law allows prosecutors to seek DWI charges on two separate theories. Most North Carolina drivers know that the legal limit to drive is set at 0.08 percent or more Blood alcohol concentration. However, prosecutors can also rely upon an arresting officer's testimony concerning the officer's observations at the time of the investigation.

Prosecutors pursued DWI charges against the man who had been riding a bike at a private golf course. The state did not have a breath test result to pursue presumed impairment based upon a test result.

The defense argued that the state could not prove that the man rode the bicycle in a public area, but only at the golf course. The man had been attending a conference at a hotel associated with the golf course.

Additionally, the DWI defense argued that police observed that the man had a broken nose and facial lacerations. The defense argued that the prosecutor could not prove that any disorientation that the cop may have observed on the night of the accident was insufficient to prove impairment from alcohol. The defense argued that any disorientation the man may have displayed could reasonably be attributed to the injuries the man sustained in the bicycle accident.

The DWI charges were dismissed recently in Brunswick County.

Drivers who refuse to submit to an alcohol test under North Carolina's implied consent laws can face an automatic civil revocation of their driver's license. The man reportedly brought a challenge to the civil license revocation. News reports indicate that it was determined in an October 2011 hearing that insufficient evidence existed to support the license revocation.

Source: Hickory Record, "Charges against assistant district attorney Bellas dismissed," Sarah Newell Williamson, Jan. 25, 2012

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