ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - There was a field sobriety test recorded on police video, a Breathalyzer test and a DWI arrest, but that wasn't enough to convict former Albuquerque City Councilor Michael Cook of drunken driving.
A Metropolitan Court judge tossed out that evidence and found Cook not guilty.
Cook's attorney thought he had a case early on arguing the evidence resulting from traffic stop that led to the DWI charge was inadmissible.
Cook was an Albuquerque city councilor who had just announced for reelection at the time. He also was a member of the Police Oversight Commission.
Metro Court Judge Edward Benavidez found that the traffic stop by an Albuquerque Police Department officer that produced lapel-camera video of the arrest was what's called "pre-textual."
Essentially, the officer's stop wasn't made because he suspected Cook of being drunk but only of violating a traffic law.
Because of that finding, the judge tossed out evidence from both the field-sobriety and Breathalyzer tests.
Without that evidence, a verdict of not guilty from the judge wasn't far behind.
In a statement, Cook offered thanks to those close to him:
"During this very embarrassing and humiliating episode, as well as to my attorney, David Serna, who spotted the legal issues and convinced me to litigate the matter which resulted in my acquittal."
In fact, Serna voiced concern the day Cook stepped down from his city hall post, saying, "We are also convinced that there may well have been irregularities and impermissible violations committed by law enforcement during the course of the incident."
That argument held up in court.
Cook's statement also said that he takes sole blame for putting himself in the position to be accused of DWI.
Benavidez told KRQE News 13 ruling for an acquittal was a tough decision but one he felt reflected established case law.
Cook's vacated District 7 council is now held by Janice Arnold-Jones, who was appointed by the mayor.
She faces two opponents, Matthew Biggs and Diane Gibson, in the October municipal election.
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Albuquerque police shot and killed a man Sunday night after responding to an assault call near UNM.
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