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Retired pro baseball player refuses sobriety test at traffic stop

People in Virginia who follow professional baseball know that players sometimes get into trouble with authorities. Jayson Werth, who retired from the sport in June, was arrested at a traffic stop in April. The police officer reported that he stopped Werth for an expired registration. While conversing with Werth, the office became suspicious about the driver's sobriety.

A video of the arrest showed a portion of Werth's interaction with the police officer. He gave the police officer a card that identified Werth as a Major League Baseball player. The officer asked Werth to get out of the vehicle.

Werth refused to follow directions for any testing and said that he had no way to know his rights without a lawyer present. The police officer responded that a lawyer did not have a role at this point. He wanted to do his job and evaluate Werth's safety as a driver. Werth expressed his distrust of the officer, and the video ended. He was arrested but forced law enforcement to get a warrant to draw blood. His eventual plea agreement included a DUI violation. His sentence required participation in a diversion program, $1,600 in fines, license suspension and drug and alcohol screening.

After an arrest for drunk driving (DUI), a person could contact a lawyer and ask questions about rights. A lawyer could evaluate the evidence and recommend a defense strategy. This effort might include questioning the accuracy of a field sobriety test, which might result in a reduction or dismissal of charges. The advocacy of a lawyer might prevent a person from admitting guilt without the benefit of negotiating a plea bargain that includes a lenient sentence.

Source: Yahoo, "Jayson Werth to police officer during DUI arrest: 'I'm not sure I trust you'", Liz Roscher, Oct. 1, 2018

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