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Laurel police chief helps stop drunk driver | News

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Laurel police chief helps stop drunk driver

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Laurel Police Chief Richard McLaughlin's attempt to help a man out of a bind led to a drunken driving arrest Monday morning.

Officials say McLaughlin stopped on his way to work to help a man change a flat tire. During the stop, McLaughlin noticed the strong smell of alcohol on the man's breath and called for backup to the intersection of Route 198 and Route 197.

When pressed for identification or a driver's license, the driver presented McLaughlin with a temporary Maryland driver's license, which raised the chief's suspicions because suspected drunk drivers are given those ID's until their cases go to court, he said.

The responding officers transported 28-year-old Thank Khual to the College Park Barracks for a sobriety test, where police say he blew a .36 BAC, more than four times the legal limit.

A check of Maryland court documents revealed Khual was charged with a DUI on April 22 at the intersection of Laurel Bowie Road and Contee Road, according to officials. During questioning, Khual told officers he was on his way to work.

"He shouldn't have been driving," Chief McLaughlin says. " People have died with that much alcohol in their systems. Maybe this time, he'll get the message—if you drink and drive, you will get caught."