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County attorney accused of DUI

An assistant prosecutor from Ford County has been charged with drunk driving after a court hearing on Aug. 9. The man, who was interviewed by local media sources, said he had been expecting the indictment since the March 31 incident that prompted the investigation.

The man has not yet decided to enter a plea in the case, though it is his second DUI offense. That means he could serve as long as a year in jail, and he could be fined more than $1,000 for his alleged indiscretions.

Reports show that the man had been driving improperly on a highway when he was pulled over by authorities on March 31. The patrol officer, who discovered that the man may have been drinking and driving, chose to call in the Kansas Highway Patrol to investigate the incident, largely because an investigation by the county sheriff's office would have been a conflict of interest.

The man reportedly failed to submit to a breathalyzer test, but his blood was taken to evaluate his blood alcohol content (BAC). The man's BAC was allegedly about 0.18 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit in most states.

Records show that the attorney has been employed by Ford County since 2010. He specializes in prosecuting gang members. He also is up for election for the Kiowa County Attorney position, according to official reports.

It is not clear when a hearing will be held to formally register the man's plea. His attorney may advise him to plead guilty to the charges, which might be wise because this incident is the man's second DUI accusation. If the man chooses to plead guilty to the charges, it is likely that he will receive a reduced sentence. A jury trial, in contrast, could lead to a sentence that pushes the full extent of the law.

It is not yet clear what impact the DUI charges will have on the man's career.

Source: Dodge City Daily Globe, "Asst. County Attorney charged with DUI," Abigail Wilson, Aug. 16, 2012

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