The Atlanta Police Department announced on November 14, 2019 that it has received a grant from the Governor’s Office for Highway Safety for a H.E.A.T. unit that specializes in DUI enforcement in Atlanta. H.E.A.T. stands for Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic, that includes speeding and impaired driving. This specialized unit will be made up with Atlanta DUI Task Force officers that have received extensive training for DUI detection and investigations, such as Standardized Field Sobriety Test (“SFST”) training, Advance Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (“A.R.I.D.E”), and Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE”).
The press announcement by the Atlanta Police Department comes just before the beginning of annual campaigns to combat DUI’s during the holiday period extending from Thanksgiving through New Years. Anticipated campaigns that the H.E.A.T. unit will institute over the holidays are Operation Zero Tolerance (now called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”), Click It or Ticket, and Super Speeder law (that will combat speeding within the City of Atlanta). The grant covers the cost of adding three patrol vehicles, video equipment, and training for three officers.
If you, a loved one, friend, or coworker have been charged with a DUI in Atlanta, call Chestney & Sullivan today. We are available 24/7 to discuss your case, including weekends and holidays.
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.
An Atlanta police officer came upon our client passed out behind the wheel at an intersection. The Atlanta officer investigating a DUI eventually woke our client up, smelled alcohol, and began a DUI investigation. The officer read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice and asked our client to submit to a state administered breath test at the Atlanta Jail. Our client agreed and the result was a .106 (the legal limit in Georgia is .08). The prosecutors in Atlanta Municipal Court would not negotiate in this case, so Mr. Sullivan demanded a jury trial and the case was transferred to Fulton County State Court. On the day of trial, Mr. Sullivan was able to convince the Fulton County Solicitor (prosecutor), that the breath test wound not be admissible as our client was not under arrest when the Implied Consent Notice was read. The prosecutor reluctantly agreed and decided to dismiss the DUI charges and the Improper Stopping charge in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving. Our client had to avoid a DUI and was very happy with the result.
Mr. Sullivan successfully defended a client who was found passed out at an intersection in Atlanta by Atlanta Police. Georgia State Patrol was brought to the scene to conduct an Atlanta DUI investigation. Client did terrible on field sobriety evaluations and was arrested for DUI in Atlanta. Our client refused to submit to the state administered breath test. The DUI case was moved out of Atlanta Municipal Court to Fulton County State Court. The prosecution took a very long time in filing the case. Mr. Sullivan filed motions attacking the prosecution’s DUI case, including filing a motion to dismiss due to the delay in the prosecution and a motion challenging the initial detention of our client. At the time of trial, the prosecution was unable to bring the initial officer to court (the arresting officer was there). Arguably the prosecution still could possibly go forward with its case (the Georgia case law is murky in this area), but Mr. Sullivan was able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the DUI charge in exchange for a plea to a lesser traffic offense of Reckless Driving.
Our client struck a vehicle two times before fleeing the scene of the accident in Atlanta. Client was spotted walking a short distance from the client’s vehicle. Atlanta DUI officers detained our client for questioning and made an arrest for an Atlanta DUI and Hit and Run. Mr. Sullivan was successful in persuading the Fulton County State Court prosecutor that our client was in custody without the benefit of Miranda warnings and that any DUI investigation would be suppressed in court. We did not have much of a defense to the Hit and Run charge (an offense that causes a license suspension), however, Mr. Sullivan was able to persuade the prosecutor to dismiss that charge as well in exchange for a non-suspendable offense of Reckless Driving.
Our client made an illegal turn on red right in front of the Atlanta DUI Task Force Officer. a traffic stop was conducted, where our client was visibly impaired on the video. His speech was also heavily slurred, and he berated the officer throughout the entire time the video was running. Mr. Sullivan was able to persuade the Atlanta prosecutor to reduce the DUI charge down to Reckless Driving and saved our client his driving privileges as well as avoiding a DUI conviction.
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.
Our client struck the side rear trailer of a tractor trailer in Atlanta. Police and EMS responded to the scene. The Atlanta officer smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage from our client and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy. Our client also admitted to drinking multiple alcoholic beverages. He was arrested and transported to Grady detention. The prosecution obtained a search warrant for our client’s medical records that revealed an alcohol concentration of .157. Mr. Sullivan was able to convince the prosecutor that not only was the hospital blood test inadmissible, but that our client’s statutory due process rights were violated when the officer did not read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice to our client, which also advises a right to an independent test. The DUI charge was dismissed and our client entered a negotiated plea to minor traffic offenses.