Washington D.C. DUI attorneys understand that the football strong safety was arrested in Arlington County earlier this week. He was reportedly stopped by police officers who clocked him driving 73 miles per hour in a 55 miles-per-hour zone.
According to the Washington Post, Arlington County Police stopped Meriweather shortly before 3 a.m. He was driving westbound on I-66 near North Ohio Street.
Meriweather, who has twice been to the Super Bowl and recently inked a $6 million contract with the Washington Redskins, reportedly smelled of alcohol. Police reported he refused to take a breathalyzer. Washington D.C. DUI attorneys know that this can be a smart move if someone has been drinking heavily. Of course, it will land you an automatic suspension of your license, but there may be more room for defense attorneys to help you fight the charge of driving under the influence.
While this happened in Arlington County, VA, where officers still regularly use breathalyzer tests during the course of traffic stops, in Washington D.C., the use of breathalyzers has been suspended for some time now, as officials investigate multiple allegations that the machines were faulty and not regularly maintained.
While Meriweather refused a breathalyzer, he then agreed to a field sobriety test. These tests include such actions as balancing on one foot, following a pen with your eyes or saying the alphabet or portions of the alphabet. These tests are often highly subjective, and tend to rely solely on the observations of the officer or officers on the scene. (The alphabet is not even a recognized field sobriety test).
It’s not clear which test Meriweather was given, but whichever one it was, he allegedly failed.
D.C. DUI defense attorneys know that there are a number of ways to legally attack the legitimacy of a field sobriety test, though it’s important to note you don’t have to submit to one in the first place.
When police inquired where he had been that night, Meriweather told them he had just been at a nightclub in Washington D.C. He said he could not remember the name of the club. This brings up another good point: You don’t have to tell an officer where you were going or where you came from. Remember that anything you say can be brought against you in court. Telling an officer that you were at a nightclub can only serve to bolster their case – even if you aren’t drunk.
Meriweather was taken to jail, booked and charged with driving under the influence and refusing to take a breathalyzer test. He additionally refused to take a blood test. This, too, is considered a crime under Virginia’s implied consent law.
He was let go the following day.
It’s not clear whether the officer involved realized that he was dealing with a pro football player at the time of the arrest. Prior to signing on with the Redskins, Meriweather played for five seasons with the Bears and the Patriots.
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.