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Charles H. Williams,
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at Law, P.S.
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Former Mariner, Michael Pineda, charged with DUI

Athletes and celebrities often make the headlines when facing DUI charges. Last week, Yankees pitcher and former Seattle Mariner, Michael Pineda was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Florida. He is in Tampa rehabilitating from a shoulder injury.

According to the arrest report, the 23-year-old former Mariner was pulled over around 2:30 in the morning and released on $500 bond. The police report also indicated that Pineda was traveling "at a high rate of speed" and weaving from side to side, crossing lane markers. Swerving, speeding, or driving under the speed limit are potential indications of drunk driving and could give officers probable cause for a stop.

The arresting officer also indicated in the police report that Pineda's eyes were red, glassy and watery and that he smelled alcohol coming from his breath. An arrest report stated that the pitcher had a blood alcohol content of .128 and .125, both over the legal limit.

While an officer can document reasons for suspected drunk driving, any alleged evidence can still be challenged after an arrest. Breath tests and field sobriety tests must be administered properly. If a test was not calibrated properly or performed by a trained professional, the evidence can be dismissed in court. Similarly, if any evidence is obtained by an illegal stop and search, evidence can also be suppressed. An experienced attorney can examine a DUI case to find weakness in the prosecution's case.

After a DUI arrest, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can review the evidence presented against you and aggressively defend your interests.

According to reports, Pineda had difficulties immediately after reporting to spring training. His fastball was slower than expected and toward the end of spring training, he was told he had a torn labrum in his right shoulder and required surgery.

Source: Associated Press, "Michael Pineda faces DUI charge," Aug. 20, 2012

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