NEW HAVEN, Connecticut – Republican Rep. Robert Watson, who was arrested at an East Haven DUI checkpoint in April, has pleaded not guilty to DUI and drug possession charges in New Haven Superior Court.

Watson has been charged with DUI, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Due to the arrest, Watson stepped down as minority leader of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

“I expect to deal with this in a legal manner,” said Watson after court, declining to make any further comments.

According to police, Watson failed a field sobriety test that he was issued on April 22 at the DUI checkpoint on Foxon Road in East Haven.

Authorities say that Watson’s speech was slurred and that he smelled of alcohol and marijuana. A small amount of marijuana and smoking pipe were found in his pocket and a lab test showed his urine to contain both marijuana and cocaine.

Watson was also issued a breath test at the scene, which he passed. His blood alcohol content level (BAC) was at .05 percent, which is less than the legal limit of .08 percent.

In many states, like Connecticut, a motorist may be charged with DUI even if their BAC level does not exceed the legal limit, as in Watson’s case. If an officer deems that the motorist showed sufficient signs of intoxication or was in possession of drugs and/or alcohol, they may arrest the suspect and charge them with driving under the influence.

Among the many penalties for DUI and DWI charges, a motorist may be hit with expensive fines and fees, be ordered to attend rehab or to perform community service, may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device, or worst of all, may be sent to prison.

DUI, or DWI charges as they are oftentimes called, can have life-long consequences for the motorist if they are found guilty. DUIs can cause issues when it comes to employment, financial matters as well as civil rights. However, the motorist has a chance to contest the charges. If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI, speak to a top DUI lawyer right away for help.

DWI attorneys work hard to ensure that the best possible outcome for your case is reached. They will thoroughly investigate the incident, speaking to police and witnesses, in order to get to the bottom of what really happened. If your DWI lawyer finds that you were unfairly charged, be it because of officer suspicion alone or a faulty breath test, rest assured that they will not let you suffer punishments for a crime that there is insufficient proof you committed.

With the help of DUI lawyers, you may have your charges reduced or even completely wiped out. However, there is only a small window period available for motorists to contest their charges. Speak to an elite team of DUI attorneys today to discuss your options and file a claim.