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On Aug. 22, a Missouri man was charged with driving while intoxicated and felony vehicular assault after a March motor vehicle accident. The 36-year-old reportedly caused the Smithville crash that injured two people when he had been drinking and trying to get to Warrensburg.

The court documents stated that the man driving a Dodge Durango traveled south of Route KK in Smithville on north U.S. 169 while moving at 63 mph in a 35 mph zone. A Clay County deputy on the road intended to pull the man over but saw that his Durango started to drift into the U.S. 169 southbound lane. Before the officer could do anything, the man's vehicle struck the deputy's vehicle and a Jeep Wrangler. The Jeep landed on the side of the highway after spinning around, and both drivers of the other cars suffered injuries.

The man's blood alcohol content level was .097 percent less than two hours after the accident, and he participated in a field sobriety test and admitted to drinking. He reportedly told prosecutors that he was trying to turn around after heading the wrong way to Warrensburg but did not remember anything else, and the man has a previous DWI arrest in Johnson County.

When facing criminal charges for alcohol-related offenses, one might be accused of a felony if property damage or injuries occur. Consequences are also more severe if one has previous convictions, and a class D felony could result in up to four years in prison. One might wish to seek legal counsel to fight charges or have the charges lessened. In cases where field sobriety tests were used, a defense attorney might question the validity of the results because these tests have some inherent flaws. For example, the elderly or those with balance problems could have trouble standing on one leg whether sober or intoxicated.

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