WENATCHEE — A tainted DUI charge that led to court action against the arresting officer vanished Tuesday in a plea agreement.
Cameron V. Adams, 51, pleaded guilty to negligent driving in Chelan County District Court, with prosecutors withdrawing a DUI complaint that was supported by a flawed Breathalyzer test.
The arrest in January led to an April citizen’s complaint, filed by Adams’s attorney John Brangwin, claiming that Wenatchee Police Officer Jordan Orrell falsely swore to blood alcohol results he obtained by taking seven breath samples on two different machines, violating DUI testing protocols.
Orrell admitted he erred on the breath testing due to inexperience. Brangwin’s complaint, which sought a gross misdemeanor prosecution against Orrell, was dismissed by District Court Judge Roy Fore.
The questionable samples showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.159 percent, well above the 0.08 legal limit. Breath testing is commonly used but not crucial to proving impaired driving in court.
With his plea, Adams was fined $500 plus almost $350 in court costs, with no jail time. The misdemeanor negligent driving charge carried a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine; the dismissed DUI could have jailed him for a year and cost him his license.
“I felt like we probably would’ve won the trial,” Brangwin said, “but Mr. Adams decided he’d like to see this over and move onto other things.”