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'Highly unlikely' charges will be pursued against Commerce Secretary Bryson if toxicology tests clean

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Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials are awaiting the results of a blood test to determine whether Commerce Secretary John Bryson was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he was involved in a series of fender benders over the weekend.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said Bryson already passed a breathalyzer test, and if the blood test finds no drugs or alcohol it's "highly unlikely" investigators with his agency would pursue criminal charges against the Commerce Secretary. But the Sheriff's Department is only handling the investigation into the last of Bryson's three accidents, which happened in Rosemead. Whitmore said the San Gabriel Police Department is examining the other two — one of which was a hit and run.

"They are moving forward. It is an active investigation," Whitmore said. 

Whitmore, who is acting as a spokesman for San Gabriel, said it's possible Bryson's reported seizure impaired his judgment and that no charges will be filed in that case. He stressed Bryson was handled like any other suspect.

"There was no special treatment," he said, adding that it made sense for officers, who found the 68-year-old Bryson unconscious in his car, to issue an initial felony citation and release him as he was being treated in the hospital.

"They know who he is. He is a high profile individual, which means he's not a flight risk," Whitmore said.

Bryson's taken a medical leave from his job. The White House said it's unclear when he would return.

The LA Times reported that Bryson, who was in town to give a commencement address at Pasadena's Polytechnical High School on Thursday, is usually a good public speaker. But his speech that night was "tempered by mistakes and lapses," according to those in attendance. Moreoever, he "appeared to lose his place in his remarks" and "mispronounced words without correcting himself."

Meanwhile, ABC News reports Bryson suffered a blackout four years ago. If he did, and it happened in California, he would have been obligated to fill out this Department of Motor Vehicles evaluation form. Part of it must be completed by a physician. 

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