- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon said Monday that he will not file a driving under the influence charge against a state representative after a blood test turned up negative for alcohol.

Rep. Albert Hale initially denied having any alcohol in his vehicle when a state Department of Public Safety officer pulled him over last November near Heber for speeding, department records show. When an officer told Hale he could smell alcohol, the lawmaker said it was coffee then acknowledged having “a little bit” of gin in his coffee. The officer noted the liquid appeared mostly clear.

Hale performed poorly on four separate field sobriety tests and did not complete a breath test to determine his blood-alcohol level, authorities said. He requested a blood test after speaking with his attorney from the Navajo County jail in Holbrook, where he was booked on suspicion of driving while slightly impaired.

Hale’s blood was drawn about 3 ½ hours after he was pulled over on State Route 277, Department of Public Safety records show. The results released Monday through a public records request were negative for ethanol.

Carlyon said his office is reviewing records submitted by the Department of Public Safety for other potential charges.

Hale’s attorney, Michael Nelson, did not immediately respond to a message Monday seeking comment.

Hale, 64, is an attorney and former president of the Navajo Nation who resigned in 1998 to avoid impeachment on allegations of misuse of tribal funds. He was appointed to fill an Arizona Senate vacancy in 2004 and served in that chamber for seven years. He was elected to the state House in 2010 and is serving a third term.

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