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Pacific Police Chief John Calkins must face trial on DUI charge

Post by Mike Archbold on Nov. 19, 2008 at 12:26 pm with No Comments »
November 19, 2008 12:26 pm

Pacific Police Chief John Calkins will need to stand trial in Bonney Lake Municipal Court on a DUI charge, a judge ruled today.

A trial has been set for Jan. 26.

In his ruling, Bonney Lake Municipal Court Judge Douglas Haake rejected motions from Calkins’ attorney that the Aug. 2 traffic stop and subsequent arrest and detainment were illegal and that all evidence collected as a result of those actions should be suppressed and the case dismissed.

Both Calkins, 54, and his attorney Ken Fornabai declined to comment on the ruling. Fornabai did say the case will now proceed to a jury trial.

Calkins is police chief of the small community that straddles the southern King and Pierce county line.

Contacted this afternoon, Pacific Mayor Rich Hildreth said he knew nothing about the ruling and until he did would have no comment on Calkins position with the city.

Calkins was arrested after a motorist called 911 to report that the 2007 Corvette that Calkins was driving was weaving on Highway 410 between Enumclaw and Bonney Lake. Bonney Lake police stopped the car and detained Calkins who told the officer he had been drinking.

Calkins refused to take field sobriety tests and later failed to produce a conclusive reading twice on a breathalyzer machine at the Bonney Lake Police Station. Calkins breathes through a stoma or hole in his throat due to cancer and testified at the Nov. 3 hearing that he can only blow air through his stoma.

“At no time did Mr. Calkins indicate that he could only provide a sample through his stoma, nor (did) he request to do so,” Haake said in his written ruling.

Calkins also refused to take a blood alcohol test. Haake ruled that Calkins’ refusals to take sobriety tests are admissible at trial. He also ruled that the Bonney Lake police officer had sufficient reason to justify the arrest of Calkins.

Fornabai had argued that Calkins was not drunk when he was pulled over and the officer had no legal reason to make a traffic stop.

Haake also concluded that the Bonney Lake officer who stopped Calkins could rely on an informant’s tip through 911 and police dispatch to make the traffic stop even if the officer did not see Calkins’ car weaving on the highway.

Fprnabai also had argued that the 30 minutes form the timne of the traffic stop until Calkins arrest was legally too long.

“Mr Calkins contirnbuted to any delay by his aggressive, non-cooperative responses to attempts to further th einvestigation,” Haake said in his ruling.

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