Herb Rule, the Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress, has decided to speak out on his DWI arrest in Fayetteville.

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He has maintained from the beginning that he was not intoxicated that night and now he’s said that police procedures that night were flawed. There’s an AP report here, but we’ve also received material from the campaign strongly challenging the arrest. Rule’s Republican opponent Tim Griffin hasn’t brought up the issue, but he hasn’t needed to. Blog comments here and elsewhere by allies have depicted Rule in an unflattering light, in part because he’d been arrested once previously, though not convicted, for DWI.

Rule said he had one drink that night in Fayetteville. His campaign aide, Adam Fogleman, supports Rule’s account. “I was there with Herb at dinner. He had one drink before dinner. Dinner began around 7:30. We left around 10.” The dinner was at Bordino’s. Rule was driving to a hotel with a female friend when police stopped him.

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His case has drawn the attention of Partne Daugherty of Jacksonville, whose close examination of police videos and other records turned around a case against Surgeon General Joe Thompson after cops arrested Thompson at his own home after Thompson questioned a private security guard’s presence at his curb one night. (CORRECTION: I’d earlier written incorrectly that the security guard cruising the neighborhood was an off-duty cop.)

Daugherty has posted a lengthy video of the arrest of Rule on YouTube. Watch it closely. It does not appear to clearly depict an intoxicated man. Rule was stopped for failing to signal a lane change on a four-lane street, a commonplace event that rarely draws police attention.

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Daugherty’s commentary on the YouTube page includes discrepancies she found in reviews of police records, including a more extensive report prepared on the arrest subsequent to a brief report provided media and the fact that it includes a statement from one officer that he didn’t smell alcohol on Rule.

Fogleman said:

Herb Rule is fighting this baseless charge. The voters of the 2nd District have every reason to be confident in Herb Rule’s ability and integrity to serve in Congress.

The video reveals that Mr. Rule was frustrated given the circumstances but it’s clear he was arrested without grounds and the charge unjustified. The video shows inconsistent statements made by the arresting police officer in a span of three minutes. When asked by another officer, the arresting officer indicated that he did not smell alcohol. Only after he learned of an earlier charge against Mr. Rule did he approach Mr. Rule and ask him to take a field sobriety test b/c he “smelled alcohol.” Additionally, the video shows that the field tests were highly flawed and did not follow the established standards.

The campaign suggests a closer look at events on the film Daugherty made of police video, sharpened and enhanced for viewing. They note, among others: