Friday, September 21, 2012

Policeman pleads not guilty to DUI

Sun Valley Assistant Chief Mike Crawford back at work

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley Assistant Police Chief Mike Crawford entered a “not guilty” plea Wednesday in Blaine County Magistrate Court to a misdemeanor charge that he drove under the influence of alcohol in downtown Hailey last month. Crawford did not appear in court; his defense attorney Brian Elkins submitted the plea for him.  

A probable-cause affidavit filed in the case by Hailey Patrolman Jeremiah Jones alleges that Crawford backed into a parked vehicle on Main Street in Hailey three times on the evening of Aug. 11.

Jones stated in the affidavit that he was in a police car behind Crawford’s pickup truck when the accident occurred and that he observed the entire sequence of events.

Crawford was taken to the Blaine County Public Safety Facility where he was administered two breath tests using an Intoxilyzer 5000 breath-test machine. Jones wrote that Crawford registered a blood-alcohol level of .182 in the first test and .178 in the second. Either value is more than double the legal driving blood-alcohol limit in Idaho of .08.

Crawford was not arrested, but instead was issued a citation charging him with misdemeanor DUI.

An arraignment hearing originally scheduled for Aug. 27 was rescheduled twice in Blaine County Magistrate Court before the not-guilty plea was submitted Wednesday. A motion to suppress evidence was also entered. 

Blaine County court clerks were not sure if or when an evidentiary hearing or a pre-trial conference would be scheduled in the case.

Crawford, who has served as Sun Valley assistant police chief for about 10 years, was suspended with pay on Aug. 20, but returned to work on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

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