The Main Stream

Jan 12, 2012 1:23 AM

County Prosecutor has not filed charges in Marana officer's DUI case

TUCSON - The Pima County Attorney has not filed charges in the drunken driving case of a Marana police officer.

The case was dismissed in December, but the prosecutor can refile.

Casey McGinley is a supervisor in the county attorney's office. He says the Marana officer is not getting preferential treatment.

The charges were initially dismissed because the Pima County Attorney did not have everything they needed from the Oro Valley Police Department, according to McGinley.

The prosecutor still has plenty of time to refile charges.

Irasema Teran was pulled over after running a red light December 10, according to a report from the Oro Valley Police Department.

When she got out of the car, she swayed and used the vehicle for support, according to the report. She was argumentative and antagonistic, according to the Oro Valley Police officer. She slurred her speech and used profanity, according to the report.

When the officer tried to give a sobriety test, the officer wrote she, "nearly fell over" so he "stopped [the] test for safety reasons."

The blood sample evaluated by the Arizona Department of Public Safety showed her blood alcohol concentration was 0.17%. That is enough for an extreme DUI.

The Oro Valley Police officer who stopped Teran did everything correctly, according to Lt. John Teachout with the Oro Valley Police Department.

James Charnesky has been representing DUI defendants for about 14 years. He is not Teran's attorney. He said it is not uncommon for the prosecutor to dismiss a case and refile later.

"It sounds to me like they are considering the case very carefully," Charnesky said, "they got blood results back in about a month, which is irregular and tells me they prioritized this case."

Charnesky said the DPS lab usually takes months to process blood work. He said the Pima County Attorney may have asked the lab to expedite the test.

He said he does not believe the officer is getting special treatment.

"With a BAC apparently over a .08 apparently over a .15," Charnesky said, "I would be really shocked if they did not refile these charges."

The Oro Valley officer was working for the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force when he pulled over Teran. That is why he was working outside the town's limits, and the case is being handled by the Pima County Attorney.

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