Recently making headlines around the Atlanta area was an arrest of the city’s Commission Chairman on DUI charges. What made the case interesting wasn’t just that a city official was put in handcuffs but that he was actually found to not be intoxicated at all. The Atlanta Journal Constitution now states that the Deputy who mistakenly arrested the chairman had made similar mistakes before.
The Gwinnett county Sherriff’s Deputy is reported to have formerly worked for the Gwinnett County Police Department before resigning his post there to come to the Sherriff’s Department in 2006. While a police officer he allegedly failed to detect intoxication in a driver who caused an auto accident. He is also said to have claimed a friend was not intoxicated despite being well over the legal limit when tested with a breathalyzer.
The latest incident involved the now Sherriff’s Deputy happened on June 28th when he arrested the Commission Chairman. The Deputy claimed he was intoxicated despite a breathalyzer showing the opposite to be true. The Chairman wasn’t exonerated until two days later when the blood test came back negative.
The Chairman’s attorney suggests the false arrest was politically motivated—stating deputies waited outside the bar where he was until he left, never trying to stop him from driving. The Chairman is 71 but was still asked to perform 2 field sobriety tests, something not recommended for people over the age of 60.
There’s no indication that the Deputy has faced any repercussions for his mistake, though the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the matter.
Do the police make mistakes? Absolutely—they are human. However, when these mistakes cost someone their freedom, even for a few hours or days, they can’t be overlooked. While the majority of arrests are lawful, there are still very many that are questionable.
Even still, some cases of mistaken identity or just plain innocence make it all the way to the criminal courts. When you have done nothing wrong but are charged with a crime, it can feel like a bad dream. No one believes you and it seems that you will undoubtedly pay for a crime you didn’t commit.
Whether you are facing DUI charges or something even more serious, you deserve to have a defense attorney on your side who will look out for your best interest and work to clear your name. Contact our offices today to discuss any criminal case against you.