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Cowboys' Ratliff suspected of DWI after accident

The Dallas Cowboys are in the news again for a drunk driving arrest. This time, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff has been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after being involved in an accident. According to an MSNBC.com report, Ratliff crashed into an 18-wheeler before hitting a guardrail. A police spokesperson indicated that Ratliff displayed several common signs to indicate drunk driving (e.g. smelling of alcohol, slurred speech).

Police also indicate that he failed a field sobriety test, and was unaware of how the accident occurred. These factors led officers to take him into custody. Ratliff reportedly refused to take a breathalyzer test, but MSNBC.com reports that police obtained a search warrant and took him to a local hospital for a mandatory blood test.

The results of the tests have not been released.

This is the second drunk driving incident involving a Cowboys player in the last three months. In December, Josh Brent was involved in an accident that killed his friend and Cowboys practice squad member Jerry Brown. Brent was subsequently indicted on intoxication manslaughter after tests revealed that his blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit. Fortunately, no one was injured in the latest accident.

We find this story is an important example of why an attorney is needed in drunk driving cases. Since a search warrant was issued to obtain potentially incriminating evidence, a lay person would not know to challenge the propriety of the warrant.

If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense based on a warrant-based search, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you.

Source: MSNBC.com, Jay Ratliff arrested on suspicion of DUI, January 23, 2013

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