A Wake County sheriff’s deputy who was a member of the Driving While Intoxicated Task Force was fired last month by the Sheriff. His termination occurred after a district court judge signed an order disqualifying the 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s office as a competent witness due to his lying on the witness stand and falsifying documents in DWI cases.
Due to these events, the Wake County district attorney was forced to dismiss over a hundred cases of suspected driving while impaired. The district attorney stated that the deputy’s untruthfulness in prior cases made him an incompetent witness forthwith.
In all, there were three separate incidents where the former deputy’s credibility was compromised due to his untruthfulness. All incidents involved women charged with DWI and occurred in 2014 and 2015. The deputy failed to allow the DWI suspects their legally allotted time of 30 minutes to get a witness to observe their Breathalyzer tests and/or speak to an attorney. This caused the women to have their driver’s licenses suspended for one year.
All told, there were 104 DWI charges dismissed, as well as 71 traffic citations. None of the cases that were adjudicated prior to when the court order was issued last month will be retroactively affected.
The credibility of officers involved with a drunk driving charge can be attacked by aggressive criminal defense attorneys at trial. Prior incidents in an officer’s work history that indicated tendencies to play fast and loose with the rules can be introduced as evidence for the defense. Under such circumstances, it is possible to be acquitted of the charges.
Source: The News & Observer, “Wake dismisses more than 100 DWI cases after deputy lies to court,” Anne Blythe, March 31, 2016