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Port of Seattle executive arrested on suspicion of DUI

Before a Seattle police officer can arrest a driver on suspicion of drinking and driving (DUI), he or she must have a reason to pull over the driver for a traffic infraction, such as speeding or changing lanes without signaling. Then the officer must find probable cause that the driver is over the legal limit before making the arrest.

The consequences of a DUI arrest can be serious, even when the suspect was not involved in a car accident. A guilty verdict or plea can result in punishments like fines, jail time, and limitations on your driving privileges.

It remains to be seen if Ted J. Fick, chief executive of the Port of Seattle, will face such penalties after getting arrested on suspicion of DUI on Apr. 19. An officer pulled him over on the Highway 520 bridge after allegedly observing Fick speeding, the Seattle Times reports.

To justify the arrest, the officer gave the standard observations that Fick smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes. Fick underwent a field sobriety test, which the officer said went “poorly.” Fick reportedly declined to take a breath test at the scene; an hour later, Fick’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.097, police claim.

In a statement, Fick said he was cooperative during the traffic stop and was not cited for any other violations. The statement went on to say that Fick was not admitting guilt or claiming innocence. It appears that he and his defense attorney were still weighing their options.

In some cases, a plea bargain can keep the defendant out of jail, usually in exchange for pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Other times, fighting the charges in court is the best option.

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