Charges stem from May arrest; DA says Doyle had blood alcohol level of 0.28
By Judy Harrison, Of the NEWS Staff - BANGOR - A hearing on pretrial motions stemming from the May arrest of a Maine state trooper for alleged drunken driving concluded Friday. Attorneys for Tammy J. Doyle and the Penobscot County District Attorney's office have until mid-February to file motions. A decision from Maine Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm is not expected before March.
Doyle, 35, of Corinna was arrested Saturday, May 3, outside a Dexter bar while off duty and charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, resisting arrest, failing to sign a traffic ticket and refusing to submit to a blood test. In June, she pleaded not guilty to the charges and asked for a jury trial.
The trooper, now on unpaid administrative leave from her job as a K-9 handler, had a blood alcohol level of 0.28, according to Michael Roberts, deputy assistant district attorney. The legal limit is 0.08.
Doyle's attorney, Leonard Sharon of Auburn, filed four motions in June seeking to suppress evidence gathered by officers at the scene, statements made by Doyle that night, and to exclude her refusal to take the breath test.
Sharon said when the hearing on the motions began in November that his goal was to show that the Dexter police officer who stopped Doyle did not have probable cause to arrest her for drunken driving.
He argued that when the officer said she could not leave the scene, she was in custody and should have been given a Miranda warning of her rights.
The Auburn attorney has said that if the judge ruled in his client's favor, all of the evidence and Doyle's statements would have to be excluded from trial and successful prosecution of the case would be difficult.
Roberts, however, said Friday that he expected the case would go forward. In addition to the arresting officer, state troopers and Piscataquis County sheriff's deputies were called to the scene and observed Doyle's behavior, he said.
A trial date has not been set.
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