Last week, we wrote about a Texas radio personality who had been charged with a DUI earlier in the month. Things are definitely looking up for him because all charges related to the alleged drunk-driving incident have been dropped.

The cause of Jeff Ward's exoneration seems to have been the prosecutor's inability to pull together enough evidence against Ward. Ward, who hosts a popular talk show on 590 KLBJ-AM, refused to take a field sobriety test at the scene when he was pulled over for speeding earlier this month. His refusal to take a field sobriety test led him to be taken to jail and perhaps started the improper presupposition that he was guilty.

A videotape of Ward's arrest from the arresting officers' dashboard camera, however, led the prosecutor to decide that there were "significant" weaknesses with the case and it did not appear there was probable cause to file a DUI charge.

Ward, who was released from jail the morning after his arrest, called the ordeal "a miserable experience." He had claimed from the beginning that he had only had two beers the night of his arrest and that he was not drunk.

Ward is lucky, but his case is not rare. Travis County, where Ward was arrested, has dismissed a higher percentage of drunk-driving cases than other major Texas counties in part because prosecutors have a track record of putting together shoddy cases against the accused. People accused of driving drunk should not automatically assume they are going to be convicted. Police, like everyone else, make mistakes or jump the gun from time to time. Accused drunk drivers are every bit as entitled as everyone else to a thorough review of the factual record and the full benefit of the law's standards and requirements for charges and convictions.

Source: The Austin American Statesman, "Prosecutor says evidence lacking in DWI arrest of radio host Jeff Ward," Tony Plohetski, 13 June 2011.