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Kansas City politician's son gets downgraded charge, no DUI

The son of Kansas City Mayor Sly James has been cited for careless driving in connection with a December arrest. The young man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, but he was not charged with that crime. This case illustrates the fact that a drunk driving arrest does not always lead to official drunk driving charges, even for alleged repeat offenders. This is the second time that the man has faced different charges after being taken into custody on suspicion of DUI.

The 25-year-old man was pulled over by officers on Dec. 18. They reportedly saw the man drive over a curb with two of his tires. Officers said the man appeared intoxicated, with a faint odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle. He failed several field sobriety tests before an officer attempted to administer a breath test. The driver refused to submit to the breath test. He told Kansas City reporters that he was not intoxicated; he argues that he did not commit a crime, but rather "glanced a curb" with his vehicle.

Since the man chose to refuse a breath test, his driver's license has been revoked. Although officers said they thought they had enough evidence to pursue a DUI charge in the case, prosecutors declined to issue formal drunk driving charges. Officers said the man failed three components of a field sobriety test, which should have qualified him as a potential drunk driver. A breath test is not required to bring charges against an alleged drunk driver, according to those police officers.

Criminal defense attorneys may attempt to promote their client's interests in court. In some cases, that may result in a reduction of charges. It is important to remember that a DUI arrest does not always lead to a DUI charge or conviction.

Source: Kansas City Star, "Police cite son of Kansas City mayor for careless driving after he refused breath test" Christine Vendel, Feb. 07, 2014

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