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Oklahoma County Clerk faces DUI charges

According to authorities, the Oklahoma County Clerk was taken into custody on Sept. 17 following an automobile collision. She has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. The 67-year old woman was apparently involved with a hit and run accident, according to Oklahoma City police, but a report on the incident was not yet available.

Based on information from jail officials, she was booked at the Oklahoma County jail at around 10:30 p.m. Her bail was set at $1,270, and she bonded out approximately four hours after booking. As of Sept. 18, the woman in question had not yet returned calls asking for comment about the situation. She was elected in 1996 and is serving her fifth term.

The accident and charges related to it could cost the Oklahoma County Clerk her position. State statutes state that county officials can be removed if they are guilty of official misconduct, which includes in its definition "intoxication in any public place within the state produced by strong drink voluntarily taken." The county clerk can be removed if one of two things occur: the governor requests court proceedings to do so or if one percent of registered voters who participated in the previous year's county clerk's election sign a complaint. Hearings would be held in the Oklahoma County District Court or the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

People who are facing DUI charges should not make light of these charges. Convictions for DUIs carry penalties that include fines and jail time, and they can lead to problems in the future finding a job. A lawyer could help ensure that evidence presented by police was collected lawfully and that someone's rights were not infringed upon.

Source: NewsOK, "Oklahoma County clerk arrested on DUI complaint", Bryan Dean, September 19, 2013

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