Client was charged with failure to maintain lane and DUI less safe. Client was sitting in her car during a large storm on the side of the road in Fulton County when officers approached to ask why she was stopped on the side of the roadway. Officers claimed that there had been a report of driver failing to maintain lane earlier in the evening. Client refused to perform the voluntary field sobriety evaluations due to the fact that it was pouring rain. Officers claimed they noticed an odor of an alcoholic beverage. There were no other manifestations of impairment shown in the arrest video of client. Attorney was told by the police department that the officer was no longer employed in Fulton County. After obtaining the officer's training and employment records, attorney determined that the officer was employed in Fulton County and in the same position as he was on the night of arrest. Through his investigation attorney determined that the only offer of proof that client had been driving erratically at any time was the statement of a third party witness. No law enforcement had witnessed client driving at any time. The elements of the offense of driving under the influence in Georgia is that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was less safe (or had a blood alcohol level of .08 grams or more) to drive because of their consumption of alcohol and in actual physical control of a moving vehicle within three hours after such consumption. After a pre-trial conference with the prosecutor to explain all of the difficulties in proving the State's case, client's charge was reduced to one count of reckless driving and the failure to maintain lane charge was dismissed. Once the fine is paid and the other conditions of the sentence are completed client's probation terminates and the case is over. This case was handled by Attorney Bill Hardman.
Blog posts by Bill Hardman at DUI Blog and Case Results