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Washington police accuse sleeping Pitt County DSS worker of DWI

Police in Washington, North Carolina, claim that a woman was found sleeping in her car that was parked near a tavern on May 21. Authorities say that the woman was discovered around 4:00 in the morning. Few details about the circumstances are included in a recent news account. It is not clear what attracted law enforcement’s attention to the vehicle, if the car was running and other issues surrounding the incident are not addressed in the media account.

What is being reported is that the woman was on-call that morning with the Pitt County Department of Social Services. Washington police claim that the child protection worker was found asleep in the driver’s seat of her car and had difficulty opening her window after she was awakened. Authorities say that the woman had difficulty staying awake during the early morning interaction with police.

Police say that the smell of alcohol was emanating from the vehicle when the woman opened the window. Officials used the opportunity to investigate the woman for a potential driving while impaired offense. Law enforcement claims that the woman registered 0.18 percent alcohol content in a breath test related to the probe. The woman is charged with DWI.

In general, DWI charges must be based upon specific evidence to support the charge. Criminal defense lawyers may scrutinize the police procedures used to gather evidence in a criminal investigation. But, the alleged facts are also an important aspect of the legal analysis to help ensure that authorities are not overreaching in bringing criminal charges.

Source: WNCT, “Pitt DSS employee arrested for DWI while on call," Andrew Ruiz, June 5, 2014

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