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DUI News Roundup

DUI News Roundup

updated

Read about three recently dropped DUI charges, one in which DNA testing showed the accused was not driving at the time of the accident, and two cases in which there was a lack of evidence.

DUI Charges Dropped: DNA Shows Accused Wasn't the Driver

The DUI charges against an 18-year-old man, who was accused of causing a crash that killed five members of a California family, were dropped after DNA evidence showed that he was not the driver of the vehicle.

Jean Ervin Soriano, 18, was charged in early April with seven counts of driving under the influence resulting in death after the teen told authorities that he was the driver.

The accident occurred on March 30 on Interstate 15, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, when the SUV that Soriano was in slammed into the back of the minivan that was carrying seven members of a southern California family.

Soriano's defense attorney filed a motion for DNA testing, claiming that Soriano was not the driver of the SUV. The results of the testing revealed that Soriano's blood was found on the console, window, and windshield on the passenger side of the vehicle. The only other occupant of the SUV during the crash was Alfred Gomez, 23. His DNA was found on the steering wheel, and a footprint matching Gomez' was found on the driver's door where it had been kicked open after the crash.

Additionally, one of the surviving family members in the minivan testified that she heard two men arguing in the aftermath of the crash about who was the driver.

After the accident, Soriano's blood-alcohol percentage measured 0.12. Gomez's blood-alcohol level was not tested.

DUI Charges Dropped: Lack of Evidence

The DUI charges against a Baltimore County police officer have been dropped due to lack of evidence.

Matthew McElwee, 44, was charged with a DUI after he was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint during St. Patrick's Day weekend.

At the time of the stop, McElwee lawfully refused to submit to blood-alcohol testing and was released to a sober driver on citations.

Prosecutors decided to drop the charges against McElwee. According to his lawyer, the charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence.

According to the Baltimore County Police Department, McElwee wasn't on duty, wasn't driving a police vehicle, and wasn't carrying a weapon when he was stopped.

Following the DUI charge, McElwee was moved to administrative duty. The BCPD is currently conducting an internal investigation and reviewing McElwee's status.

DUI Charges Dropped: Lack of Evidence

The DUI charges against actor Jeffrey Wright, 47, have been dropped due to a lack of evidence.

Wright, who has been in several movies, including Quantum of Solace, The Ides of March, and the upcoming Hunger Games: Catching Fire, was arrested last April for DUI in the lower East Side of Manhattan after allegedly driving erratically.

When he was stopped, Wright failed a field sobriety test and submitted to chemical testing. According to reports, one breathalyzer test measured Wright's blood-alcohol level at 0.89, just above the legal limit.

However, the judge in the case accepted the results of another, more precise Intoxilyzer test. As a result, prosecutors dropped the DUI charge due to a lack of evidence.

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