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Driving under the influence charge for California fire captain?

A California Fire Department captain could be facing a drunk driving charge after a recent accident that also left him injured. The single vehicle accident left the captain with a potentially broken back as well as other broken bones after his truck crashed into a tree. It is unclear why the truck left the rural roadway, though now the captain may face charges for driving under the influence on top of the burden of his serious injuries.

According to initial reports, the captain was traveling in a truck pulling a speedboat when the accident occurred. The truck left the roadway and is suspected to have rolled before hitting a tree. In the process, the speedboat and trailer were detached from the truck and landed away from the accident scene. The captain was trapped until rescue crews could extricate him with a mechanical device. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

The drunk driving allegation stems from someone at the accident scene stating that they smelled alcohol on the driver. Reports indicate that authorities came to the hospital and arrested him in order to obtain a blood sample. He was then released to the hospital's custody before being taken into surgery. There are various reasons why the truck may have crashed; it is too soon at this time to confirm the precise cause.

California Highway Patrol states that it could take weeks before the blood sample results are returned. So far, the captain has not been charged with driving under the influence pending those results. It is unclear if any other tests have been performed. The captain remains innocent until clear evidence proves otherwise; although he has already felt the effects of the accident to his body and reputation.

It does not require a conviction for one's reputation to be marred. Thankfully, though, California law maintains that anyone charged with driving under the influence has the right to defend themselves before a judge or jury. Should the captain be charged in this accident, he will likely benefit from seeking a strong defense against the allegations. This defense may include a careful examination of the evidence and any additional factors that may have been involved in the accident.

Source: Novato, CA Patch, "Driver in Tuesday Truck Crash Arrested on Suspicion of DUI," Brent Ainsworth, Sept. 19, 2012

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