A DUI arrest is almost always shocking news to family and friends of the offender, but it’s never more shocking than it is when a police officer is charged with the crime. Police officers have a duty to protect the public. When they violate this trust and show up in a news account for a DUI arrest, the public wonders what went wrong.
The officer, Michael Allen Trumbo, is now on administrative leave after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence. NewsChannel 9 made the report. The incident in question happened Saturday at 5 AM. According to reports, there was a crash at 200 North Martin Luther King Boulevard. What made the arresting officers suspicious was that officer Trumbo was reported to be “unsteady on his feet.” This is one of the tale-tale signs of someone who is driving under the influence. Sometimes they will even fall while being questioned by officers.
Due to their suspicions, the officers conducted a field sobriety test on officer Trumbo. Due to the results of the field sobriety test, he was arrested and taken in for a breathalyzer test. Officer Trumbo’s blood alcohol level was 0.144. In Tennessee, DUI charges are taken very seriously and in recent years there has been a massive push to lower the legal limits that result in violating DUI laws.
Tennessee’s DUI laws dictate that anyone driving with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08% is officially driving while intoxicated. Trumbo’s BAC was well beyond the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle. The incident which brought officers to the scene occurred when he missed a ramp near MLK Blvd. and went over a small embankment, resulting in the call about a crash in the area. When officers arrived, they found Trumbo was behaving in a manner that indicated intoxication.
As of Wednesday, Trumbo was on paid administrative leave and faces an uncertain future with the police department. The state of Tennessee takes DUI charges very seriously. Even first-time offenders in Tennessee face a mandatory jail time of 48 hours and it can extend even further than that depending on the facts of the case. With so many DUI fatalities in Tennessee, it’s natural for the law to respond more strongly to the charges than would have occurred in years past.
While the initial accusation of a DUI can seem like a damning and definitive moment, even police officers arrested for the crime should be aware that a DUI is not a dead end case for a defense attorney. Reputable sites like DUIwise.com teach defendants how to fight a DUI in the state of Tennessee that they can know what contacting a good lawyer can do to help them. A DUI doesn’t have to result in lengthy jail time, license suspension, and other life altering consequences.
Every defense lawyer handles cases like Officer Trumbo’s differently, but they all start with the assumption that there is a better outcome than the one the defendant is facing if they don’t seek out the help of an attorney. Far too many people plead guilty during the arraignment and end their chances of negotiating a better deal with the state than simple jail time, DUI classes, and other punishments that might affect the defendant’s livelihood. Another angle that the state often leaves out is that defendants are often suffering from alcoholism and may benefit more from drug and alcoholism counseling than they would jail or other penalties.
While the focus of most people remains on the initial DUI incident, sites like DUIwise continue to recognize that there are alternative ways to reduce DUIs on the road and sometimes that involves a better outcome for the defendants that will eventually get a license back and be back out on the road. By pursuing the best possible outcomes for defendants, they encourage offenders to get help and resolve their cases without giving up entirely to punishments that might unintentionally make their life worse and subject to conditions that encourage further drinking rather than the other way around.
The Chattanooga police officer facing charges may or may not plead guilty but rest assured that even in the worst case scenario, there are reasons for this officer to fight his case until the end to get the best outcome both for himself and the state in which he’s accused of offending. Tennessee is one of the few states that now have mandatory jail time even for a first DUI, so he’s facing an uphill battle against the courts. And yes, it’s true that many courts are stacked against DUI offenders, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t fight for their life just like any other defendant in any case.
Not everyone who is accused of drunk driving is guilty of the offense. These cases make big news on the front page, especially if they involve officers of the law or people sworn to protect the public’s safety. While the case confronting this officer continues to be ongoing, his lawyers are working on his behalf to make sure that both the state and their defendant receive fair representation in the courts and have their side of the story understood. If the case goes to trial, the officer will potentially have a chance to tell his side of the story or his lawyers may choose to tell it for him in a well-told defense.
Anyone who’s been charged with a DUI like this officer should immediately contact a lawyer. Nothing is going to help quite as much as surrendering the facts of a case to a veteran DUI attorney. Finding one of these attorneys can be difficult in the beginning which is why sites like DUIwise exist out there. They are there to help people who may have developed an alcohol problem get the best possible defense representation, help, and outcome. They also help the state determine the best way to rehabilitate these defendants. More than that, they give people accused of a very serious crime hope.