What to do if you have been arrested for a DUI in Atlanta during Super Bowl week

Many people attending the Super Bowl festivities this week and the Super Bowl game on Sunday in Atlanta, are traveling from out of state.  Atlanta offers many opportunities to celebrate on any given day, even more so during the festivities leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl game.  The Atlanta City Council announced that alcohol sales in Atlanta will be extended to 4:00 a.m. during Super Bowl week from Monday, January 28, 2019 through February 4, 2019.  Also, law enforcement agencies such as the Atlanta Police DepartmentGeorgia State Patrol,  Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, and Gwinnett police departments will increase their patrols and sobriety checkpoints to target impaired drivers.

No one plans or intends to get arrested for a DUI, but it happens.  If you are from out of town, experienced DUI attorneys at Chestney & Sullivan Law Firm is available to speak with you about your Georgia DUI case anytime -including weekends!  We understand that you will need to travel back home when the Super Bowl is over.  We can represent you in your Georgia Driving Under the Influence case and will appear on your behalf in most courts in Georgia for your first court date so you don’t have to.  In many Georgia jurisdictions, you will not have to appear in court until we tell you to. 

If you have been arrested in Atlanta for a DUI, the Atlanta City Detention Center (Atlanta City Jail) and Atlanta Municipal Court have changed their policies regarding bonds pursuant to a city ordinance passed by the Atlanta City Council in February, 2018 to eliminate the “cash bond” practices.  Unfortunately that change has impacted folks with the ability to pay a cash bond to get out of jail sooner as all DUI cases now have to appear before a judge for bond (Chapter 62, Article II, Division 1, Section 62-31 of the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances).  This means that a person arrested for Driving Under the Influence on Friday in Atlanta, might have to wait until Sunday afternoon to see a judge to bond out before the Super Bowl Game.  One silver lining is Mercedes-Benz Stadium is in walking distance from the Atlanta jail, so there is still a possibility of making it to the Super Bowl.  If you were arrested late Saturday night, you may or may not make the first appearance calendar in Atlanta on Sunday.  The Atlanta City Detention Center is located at 254 Peachtree Street, SW, Atlanta GA 30303.  Their phone numbers are 404.865.8001 and 404.865.8010.  For bond information, click here.  A number of bonding companies are located on Peachtree Street right next to the city jail.  Chestney & Sullivan may be able to expedite the bond process to get defendants out of jail sooner. 

Call Chestney & Sullivan immediately if you, a friend, or loved one have been charged with a DUI in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia.  Action will need to be taken quickly regarding a possible license suspension that is a separate action from the DUI criminal case.  We can also discuss defense strategies and begin an investigation into your Georgia DUI charges.  Also, important surveillance video footage is not retained for very long in many Georgia jails.  If  the surveillance video from the jail is not ordered within a very short period of time, it will be lost forever.  Some clients may say “great, I don’t want anyone to see my jail video.”  However, we often find that jail videos can help us successfully defend DUI’s.  If the video is not helpful, by the time the prosecution decides to inquire about jail video, it is often recorded over by the jail, and we are under no duty to disclose or turn over any video that we may have to the prosecution. 

It is also important that an investigation is started right away for possible defenses, especially in Atlanta, as court cases move very fast and if a proper investigation is not conducted quickly, negotiations may be hampered in resolving a case to something other than a DUI. 

Call us today at 404.816.8777 to discuss your case.  You will be glad you did.  We are available 24/7.  We can also meet face to face for an initial consultation free of charge.  Our office is conveniently located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta at 3110 Maple Drive, Suite #103, Atlanta, Georgia 30305. 

Atlanta DUI Driver Passed Out Behind Running Vehicle: Not Guilty

James “Skip” Sullivan represented a Georgia CDL driver that was arrested for a DUI in Atlanta.  Atlanta officers responded to a 911 call about a person passed out behind the wheel of a car in a residential neighborhood.  When Atlanta Police arrived, they found our client passed out behind the wheel while the engine was still running.  Our client’s speech was slurred and he thought he was in a different state when asked.  Our client also almost fell over during field sobriety evaluations and refused a roadside portable breath test.  Mr. Sullivan need to with this case as this was his client’s second DUI arrest and if convicted, his client would lose his commercial driver’s license for life.  A “special teams” defense was deployed, including filing a speedy trial demand in Atlanta Municipal Court before the case was sent to Fulton County State Court for trial.  Mr. Sullivan also set up a constitutional due process issue as our client was not read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice at the time of his arrest that would have informed him, among other things, of his right to an independent test.  After an almost two year delay in the filing of this case in Fulton County, Mr. Sullivan’s motions were set up perfectly for the Fulton judge to rule in our favor – even when the actual facts of our case were bad.  On the day of motions and trial, the Fulton County prosecutor failed to get their witnesses in court after issue was joined for a bench trial and the judge declared our client not guilty. 

Planning and preparedness for whatever may come our way in court is what sets Chestney & Sullivan apart from other DUI law firms.  Even if the officer showed up, we were prepared to argue motions that we stood an excellent chance of winning.  Call Chestney & Sullivan today to discuss your DUI charges at 404.816.8777. 

Georgia State Patrol Atlanta DUI, Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer: Case Dismissed

James “Skip” Sullivan represented a driver who was stopped in the Buckhead section of Atlanta for failing to stop at a red light and speeding by a Georgia State Patrol Trooper (Nighthawks)  In addition to the bad driving, our client also had slurred speech and red, bloodshot eyes.  After being asked to exit his vehicle multiple times, he refused to exit his vehicle when finally ordered to do so by the Georgia State Trooper.  He was then forcibly removed from the vehicle and placed under arrest for a DUI in Atlanta and Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer.  The Trooper misread a portion of the Georgia Implied Consent Notice and our client refused to submit to a state breath test.  Mr. Sullivan took the case out of Atlanta Municipal Court and demanded a jury trial in Fulton County State Court.  After multiple hearings, including an administrative license suspension hearing, the Fulton County State Court prosecutors decided to dismiss every charge except for speeding, to which our client paid a nominal fine with no other conditions attached. 

If you are faced with a DUI or serious criminal charges, contact Chestney & Sullivan today at 404.816.8777

Atlanta DUI (two car accident), reduced to Reckless Driving

Our client ran a red light in Atlanta and struck another vehicle.  Atlanta Police responded to investigate. Our client admitted to drinking and after an investigation, was arrested for DUI in Atlanta.  He agree to take the state’s breath test at the jail, but after an unexplained two hour delay, his alcohol level dropped to a .077.  The Fulton County State Court prosecution had the ability to present evidence that our client was over .o8 at the time of driving as well as being DUI less safe.  Mr. Sullivan was able to persuade the prosecution that they would still have a difficult time proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.  The Atlanta DUI and Red Light charges were dismissed in exchange for a negotiated plea to Reckless Driving.  

Chestney & Sullivan partner Bob Chestney discusses Georgia DUI law on NPR station 90.1 WABE

Bob Chestney had the pleasure of being interviewed by Rose Scott on Closer Look, NPR station WABE 90.1.  He, along with representatives from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and Georgia State Patrol discussed a wide range of issues relating to DUI arrests in Georgia.  With the holiday season upon us,  expect Georgia State Patrol and local Georgia law enforcement agencies to be conducting concentrated patrols and sobriety checkpoints.  Check out the interview below:

https://www.wabe.org/episode/closer-look-cabbagetown-vandalism-nighthawks-dui-task-force/

Atlanta DUI Refusal: Dismissed

Our client clearly did not stop at a red light in Atlanta (on video) and a Georgia State Patrol Trooper made a traffic stop.  Client looked good on the video and had no slurred speech.  Performed reasonably well on field sobriety evaluation.  Client refused a portable breath test and was arrested for an Atlanta DUI.  Mr. Sullivan rejected a reckless driving plea offer in Atlanta Municipal Court  as it may affect travel to Canada and sent the case to Fulton County State Court for a jury trial.  Mr. Sullivan successfully negotiated a plea to running a stop sign (which our client clearly did) and a basic rules violation (does not get reported to the Georgia Department of Driver Services). 

Atlanta DUI, speeding: Reduced to Reckless Driving

Our software engineer was pulled over by the Georgia State Patrol in Atlanta for driving fast in a convertible Porsche.  Unfortunately for her, while speeding she did not use her turn signals. According to the State Trooper who pulled her over, she was going 53 m.p.h., then 65 m.p.h., and then 70 m.p.h.  Her performance during field sobriety testing was not great, but her one leg stand performance was not indicative of impairment.  Although she performed the field sobriety exercises, she refused the State’s test.  Despite marginal evidence, she was arrested for DUI in Atlanta under five different sections—essentially, the Trooper couldn’t formulate an opinion as to what she was under the influence of.  We were able to point out the major holes in the case, and the State offered to dismiss all DUI counts, in exchange for a plea to reckless driving.

Atlanta DUI, Speeding; Georgia State Patrol: DUI dismissed

Our out of state client was stopped for speeding in downtown Atlanta by a Georgia State Patrol Trooper.  Client agreed to perform field sobriety evaluations.  The trooper was a big officer, who stood uncomfortably close to our client during the evaluations on the side of a busy highway.  He was arrested for DUI and when the Georgia Implied Consent Notice was read to our client to submit to the state breath test, our client asked if the results may prevent him from being arrested (no matter what the results were).  The trooper said he was under arrest no matter what happens.  Our client refused to take the breath test.  Mr. Sullivan conducted an administrative license suspension hearing and was able to successfully cross-examine the trooper.  The audio recording of the hearing was presented to the prosecutor, who subsequently dismissed the Atlanta DUI in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving in Atlanta Municipal Court

Atlanta DUI, Georgia State Patrol, Refusal: Dismissal of all charges

Our client was stopped by a Georgia State Patrol Nighthawks DUI Trooper in Atlanta for failure to maintain lane.   The failure to maintain lane was obvious on the patrol car video and it took a while for our client to stop.  Our client also did not perform well on field sobriety evaluation and was arrested for her Atlanta DUI and Failure to Maintain Lane.  She refused the state breath test.  The case was moved out of Atlanta Municipal Court by her former attorney who was not associated with our firm.  Her former attorney was disbarred from the practice of law by the Georgia Supreme Court while the case was pending.  An arraignment date was missed due to the fault of her former attorney and she was arrested for failing to appear for court.  She subsequently hired Chestney & Sullivan and we promptly got her case back on a court calendar.  Mr. Chestney and Mr. Sullivan filed various motions, including a motion to dismiss due to the delay of the prosecution bringing this case to trial.  The Fulton County State Court judge agreed with Mr. Sullivan and dismissed all charges against our client.  

Atlanta DUI Accident, Refusal: DUI dismissed

Our client traveled the wrong way down a one-way street in Atlanta and pulled into a gas station where he struck and damaged a gas pump.  An Atlanta officer, who is not a member of the Atlanta DUI Task Force, conducted a poor DUI investigation, but there were still signs of intoxication.  There was no video of this incident from the police.  Although the driving was bad and an accident was involved, Mr. Sullivan was able to persuade the prosecutor to dismiss the Atlanta DUI charge in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving and a minor traffic offense.