Assemblyman's Drunk Driving Case Headed to Trial

By Alice McQuillan
|  Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 PM EDT
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Assemblyman's Drunk Driving Case Headed to Trial

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Adam Clayton Powell, IV

State Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV is finally going to trial Wednesday for a 2008 charge of driving while intoxicated -- and a police video appears to show that he easily passed several sobriety tests.

"You're taking this way too far," Powell was videotaped telling a police officer when he realizes he's being charged.

Powell, the son of the legendary Harlem Congressman, has said he wasn't drunk and that police shouldn't have pulled him over at 2:35 a.m. on March 6, 2008 as he was driving on the West Side Highway.

He pleaded not guilty, rejected a plea deal and opted to go to trial, which has been delayed numerous times.

On the tape, shot in Harlem's 28th Precinct, Powell is able to touch his nose, balance on one leg and walk a straight line but he flip flops over taking a second breath test. 

When pulled over, police say Powell registered a .07 in his first blood alcohol test, which was below the .08 legal limit.

Even if convicted, he will not lose his Assembly seat because the charge is a misdemeanor.

The tape was played Tuesday at a pretrial hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court before the prosecution and defense picked a jury.  Opening arguments are scheduled for Wednesday morning.


 

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