The son of Kansas City's Mayor Sly James has been charged with careless driving in connection with a traffic stop in December. The 25-year-old man was originally arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, but he has not been charged with DUI in the case. This is the second time that the man has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving but has avoided charges for driving while intoxicated.
Missouri officials say that the man was arrested on Dec. 18 after officers observed him driving erratically. The man reportedly drove two of his tires over a curb, which prompted officers to become suspicious. The police officers said the man's speech was incoherent, his pupils were dilated, and he appeared to be intoxicated. However, the man exercised his right to refuse a breath test, telling news media that he was not intoxicated and did not think he should be tested. Although the refusal has caused the man's license to be revoked, in this case he will not face drunk driving charges.
Prosecutors have declined to pursue DUI charges against the man, citing a dearth of evidence in the matter. However, Missouri officers believe that the case included enough evidence to support drunk driving charges, as the man failed the three standard field sobriety tests. In many cases, blood alcohol content information is not required to pursue allegations of driving while intoxicated.
Drivers who have been pulled over for alleged DUI in Missouri have the right to refuse a breath test. Although that decision results in an automatic license suspension, breath test refusal does have its advantages and consequences. A criminal defense attorney may be able to advise clients about the benefits and drawbacks of breath test refusal in Missouri.
Source: The Kansas City Star, "Police cite son of Kansas City mayor for careless driving after he refused breath test" Christine Vendel, Feb. 07, 2014