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A judge ruled on Tuesday that blood alcohol tests will be allowed as evidence in the case against former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, according to ESPN.
Ruggs is facing multiple felony charges after he allegedly drove more than 150 miles per hour while he was intoxicated in November, which led to a crash that killed a 23-year-old and her dog.
Ruggs had initially refused to take a field sobriety test on site after the crash, though blood alcohol tests were administered about two hours later at a local hospital. Officials said that his blood alcohol content was 0.16, more than double that of the legal limit in Nevada.
Ruggs’ attorney, David Chesnoff, argued that there wasn’t a probable cause for the tests — though Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman didn’t agree on Tuesday. Ruggs was in court on Tuesday, marking his first appearance there since November.
The judge denied the motion. Here’s Ruggs leaving the courtroom pic.twitter.com/yrrGZD3p0B
— Kyle Wilcox (@KyleNews3LV) July 12, 2022
"There's obvious time constraints in applying for a search warrant for a blood draw," Zimmerman said, via ESPN. "Under the totality of the circumstances, there is more than sufficient evidence for a finding of probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant in this case.
"Nobody has mentioned so far that Mr. Ruggs was seriously injured in this accident and transported to the hospital, so he would have been unable to submit to field sobriety tests. Coupled with his refusal to answer questions, this does not result in a reward. ... Motion to suppress is denied."
Las Vegas police said that Ruggs was driving more than 156 mph on a residential street near the Las Vegas Strip last November around 3:30 a.m. with his girlfriend when he crashed into another woman’s car.
That woman, 23-year-old Tina Tintor, and her dog Max were pronounced dead at the scene. Officials determined she died of “thermal injuries due to a motor vehicle collision.”
Ruggs was charged with DUI resulting in death, DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, two counts of reckless driving and a misdemeanor firearms charge. He is facing up to 50 years in prison. The Raiders released him hours after his arrest.
Chesnoff argued that there wasn’t probable cause for the blood alcohol test shortly after the crash, and that involvement in a fiery crash wasn’t enough. He also said that officers at the scene knew this, but proceeded anyway.
“And that’s what’s wrong,” Chesnoff said, via ESPN. “It does matter, and it has to matter because, if it doesn’t matter, then we are in a lawless society.”
Ruggs is due in court next on Sept. 7 for a preliminary hearing, something that has been postponed now four times.