Instead, our D.C. DUI lawyers understand, he ended up crashing in a police station parking lot, driving into a fence, leaving his license plate behind, and soon found himself arrested for DUI.
It all seems like something out of a bad stoner movie, but a DUI charge is no laughing matter, nor are the extra penalties he could be facing for leaving the scene of an accident.
Had it not been for that lost license plate, he may have evaded arrest altogether.
The Montgomery County police station is actually just around the corner from the fast food taco restaurant, which was the defendant’s destination.
The station actually has two parking lots, one for public use and the other that is private, gate accessible and used primarily for officers’ civilian vehicles, as well as cruisers. The latter portion of the lot is surrounded by a 10-foot metal fence with two different gates. One of those gates is chained and padlocked, while the other is only accessible by key card.
On a recent Thursday evening, an officer passing by around 12:30 a.m. happened to notice that one of the normally-chained gates had been torn off and was lying on the ground. The officer looked around a bit more, and found a piece of a vehicle headlight. Nearby, there was a license plate. The officer ran that tag number and turned up the defendant’s information, with his apartment less than three miles away.
That officer and another then drove there. In the parking lot, they saw a mangled Explorer -headlight and license plate missing, along with damage to the front bumper – just outside the defendant’s dwelling. On their way up to the door, officers found the defendant’s wallet on the ground.
They later spoke to the defendant, who agreed to undergo a breathalyzer test, which he failed. He admitted to the officers that he had been drinking vodka and headed out for a quick trip to get some tacos. He is believed to have hit a curb going over a hill and then careened into the police station parking lot, slamming into the gate. Officers don’t think he actually made it all the way through the gate and into the private police parking lot. Rather, they surmise he backed up once he’d struck the fence, causing the license plate to be ripped off, before driving away unnoticed. It was, after all, nearly 1 a.m., and not much surveillance around the station.
Perhaps his biggest mistake was answering the door and agreeing to speak with officers. Absent some solid reasoning to believe someone was in imminent danger, they would have first had to obtained a warrant before entering, and the defendant was under no obligation to speak with them either way. Had he done this – or even if officers hadn’t noticed the damage until the next day – it’s likely the worst he would have faced was leaving the scene of an accident.
If you are facing DUI charges in D.C., contact the Law Office of Daniel A. Gross, PLLC for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights or fill out our online contact form. Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards accepted. Call 202-596-5716.