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Texas City Councilman Released During DWI Stop Involved in Head-on Crash Days Later

A city councilman for the town of Tom Bean, Texas who was released by police despite appearing “heavily intoxicated” during a traffic stop was involved in a head-on collision a few days later. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

[C]ity councilman, Benjamin Vincent, was arrested after the vehicle he was driving crashed into one driven by a Tom Bean ISD school official, according to both the Sherman Herald Democrat and Sherman TV station KXII.

Vincent was booked into the Grayson County Jail on a charge of intoxication assault with a vehicle causing serious bodily injury, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Days earlier, on Saturday, July 22, 2017, a Whitewright, Texas police officer observed a car driven by Vincent cross into the oncoming lane. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram report continues: “During the course of the traffic stop, the driver was found to be heavily intoxicated and admitted to consuming an entire bottle of wine in the three-hour period preceding the stop,” the news release said. “[The officer] made a decision to allow someone to come pick up the individual in lieu of making an arrest for Driving While Intoxicated.”

The Whitewright police officer had already submitted his resignation to that police department and was seeking employment with a different department. According to the news reports, the officer made statements at the scene that indicated he would have arrested councilman Vincent were he not about to leave the police department. Upon learning of the incident, the Whitewright police chief sped up the officer’s departure plans by firing him.

Stories of police officers doing favors for fellow officers or elected officials who have been pulled over for driving while intoxicated are not common. There is no doubt that in years past this behavior was more common, but today with omnipresent cameras, this kind of thing is less common. Still, it is troubling to see this kind of favoritism by law enforcement officers.

If you have been arrested for suspicion of DWI in north Texas, you need to talk to an experienced Texas DWI attorney. At Blake & Blake LLP, we are Fort Worth DWI Lawyers who are ready to help you get the best outcome possible. Call us at (817) 497-8889 or email us to see what we can do for you.