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Vili Faulaau charged with drunk driving after accident

On Feb. 2, Vili Faulaau was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving following a car accident in Washington. The 34-year-old is the husband of former elementary school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau, who was convicted of sexually assaulting him when he was one of her students.

According to authorities, Faulaau drove his Mercury Mountaineer SUV through a red light at 1st Avenue and South 156th Street in Burien and then struck two other vehicles just before 12 a.m. The officer who responded to the crash said that Faulaau appeared dazed, had bloodshot eyes, slurred his speech and smelled like alcohol. The officer further claimed that Faulaau confessed to drinking at an area bar.

Faulaau reportedly agreed to perform a series of sobriety tests, but Letourneau pulled up in another vehicle and demanded that he stop the tests and exercise his right to remain silent. At that point, he declined to finish the field sobriety tests or submit to a breath test. He was transported to the Burien police station, booked and released. In the late 1990s, Faulaau and Letourneau made worldwide headlines when she pleaded guilty to having sex with him when he was 12 years old. They were married after she served a seven-year prison sentence. In 2016, they legally separated.

By partnering with a lawyer, an individual charged with drunk driving may be able to have their charges reduced or dismissed. An attorney could review the evidence and work to build a solid defense based on the circumstances of the case. One possible defense strategy could involve disputing the accuracy of any field sobriety or blood alcohol tests that were performed. This could get the case thrown out of court. Another strategy could be to negotiate a plea deal that lowers the charges.

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