A Texas municipal official faces an uncertain future after being charged with a Class B misdemeanor on June 10. The 60-year-old man, who holds the position of district clerk in Midland County, was taken into custody after he allegedly failed a standardized field sobriety test.

He was eventually transported to the Midland County Jail and booked on a charge of driving while intoxicated. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 180 days in a county jail and fined as much as $2,000.

Wide turn prompts traffic stop

The man’s troubles began when a Midland Police Department officer allegedly saw him make a wide turn in the vicinity of Big Spring Street. The officer also claims that the man was driving 10 mph below the posted speed limit and appeared to be having difficulty maintaining a single lane.

When the officer approached the car, he claims to have detected the odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath. The officer says that he asked the man to take a field sobriety test after noticing that his eyes were glassy and bloodshot. He allegedly admitted to the officer that he had been drinking.

A long career placed in jeopardy

The man worked in the Midland County Purchasing Department for many years before being appointed district clerk by county commissioners in early 2018. He then ran successfully for the office in November 2018. His duties include maintaining court records and organizing jury selections. A misdemeanor drunk driving conviction would not force him out of office, but he could find it difficult to convince voters to support him again in November 2022.

Negotiating plea agreements in drunk driving cases

The vast majority of DWI cases are resolved when individuals accused of drunk driving agree to plead guilty in return for sentencing concessions. When presented with facts such as these, experienced criminal law attorneys could argue that more lenient treatment is warranted because of the defendants’s long record of public service.

If you are accused of driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, an attorney may speak with you at length to identify mitigating factors that could help to convince the prosecutor involved to take a more moderate position.

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