Recent arrests of Florida legislators for drug or alcohol-related arrests have generated discussion concerning what is or is not acceptable behavior among our elected leaders. Former Congressman Radel is alleged to have not revealed facts concerning alcoholism and a drug arrest. State Representative Dane Eagle was arrested and charged with a DUI. He reportedly did not consent to a Breathalyzer test and had attempted to keep his picture from being made public.
While public officials often face more public scrutiny after these types of arrests occur, it's often the case that such individuals are judged too quickly concerning what has occurred. Like anyone else, these individuals have the right to contest charges brought against them and are entitled to the right of being presumed innocent until proven guilty.
We do need to understand that everyone can make mistakes and that DUI or drug-related arrests involve individuals from all backgrounds. Some individuals hold a "zero tolerance" stance when it comes to behavior of public officials. It's up to voters to decide whether certain individuals are or are not qualified to hold public office. However, we still need to have a fair process and not hold individuals accountable for actions they may not have committed.
There are many aspects involved in DUI cases that the public may not be aware of. As an example, in some circumstances, a conviction for a DUI can result in a court ordered requirement that an ignition interlock device be installed in a driver's car. This device requires a person blow into a tube to insure that they are not intoxicated before they are able to start their car. When prompted, they must blow in the tube again in order for the car to continue to run. As you can imagine, this could create an awkward situation when asked to drive a customer or coworker around town.
Whenever anyone is charged with a DUI, it is important to get a qualified Are drug or alcohol arrests the end of the line for politicians?" May 4, 2014