Friday, February 07, 2014

Officer Candice LeForest Charged with DUI

Oakland County prosecutors charged 12-year veteran Troy Police Officer Candice LeForest with driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level greater than .17.A $1,000 bond was set during her arraignment Tuesday. The case has been transferred from Troy to Novi's 52nd District Court to avoid any possible conflict of interest in the officer's jurisdiction.

Troy police pulled LeForest over after observing her strike the median curb twice on eastbound Big Beaver Road about 12:30 a.m. Jan. 18.

LeForest, a 34-year-old Macomb resident, declined a breathalyzer and officers obtained a search warrant authorizing a blood test be conducted. State police forensic analysts determined LeForest had a blood-alcohol content of .27, three times the maximum allowed while driving in Michigan.

A blood-alcohol level above .17 percent qualifies as "super drunk." Under Michigan's Super Drunk law, penalties increase from up to 93 to 180 days of possible jail time and nearly doubles the cost of court fines. Anyone convicted under the Super Drunk law loses their driver's license for 45 days, is under restricted driving limitations for 320 days and required to install an ignition device that forces the driver to take a breathalyzer each time they start their vehicle. 

MLive Detroit could not reach Troy Police Department spokesman Sgt. Andy Breidenich for comment Friday.

Troy police issued a statement regarding LeForest's arrest on Jan. 28. As of Tuesday, LeForest was on paid administrative leave.

Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton said his office can charge based on field sobriety tests but usually waits for blood-test results in cases when a breathalyzer is declined.

He said getting the authority for blood sample in suspected DUI cases is "routine" but rather complex. 

The agency completes paperwork requesting a search warrant, sends it to a judge or magistrate and awaits a signature. The officers then transport the suspect to a hospital where a certified nurse or doctor must extract several blood samples using a special kit that stops blood coagulation. Samples throughout the state are then sent to the state police crime lab for analysis. Results can take weeks.

No comments: