Forsyth County 2/5 DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Client arrested in Forsyth County for DUI, and he refused the state-administered breath test.  He has a 2012 DUI conviction, so this would have been a 2nd in 5 years, subjecting him to about six months in jail and a lengthy license suspension if convicted again.  Bob Chestney was selected as lead counsel, and several motions were filed, including a Motion to Suppress his Refusal on Georgia Constitutional grounds (based on the recent Olevik v. State decision by the GA Supreme Court).  At the motion hearing, the State agreed to reduce the DUI to Reckless Driving with no jail.

Although we had lost the ALS hearing, resulting in a 12-month license suspension for the refusal, that suspension will be immediately terminated and deleted from his driving record.

Spalding County DUI, .40 Blood Test: Reduced

In her Spalding County DUI case, our client lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a collision repair shop parking lot in Spalding County.  A witness saw the accident and called police.  Georgia State Patrol responded and conducted an investigation.  Due to the accident, no field sobriety evaluations were performed, but the trooper noticed a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage from our client.  Our client was transported to the hospital for treatment. Our client was charged for DUI in Spalding County and blood was draw for testing at the GBI.  The blood test result was .40, five times the legal limit.   Mr. Sullivan was able to persuade the prosecution that due to the delay of the case and admissibility issues of the state’s blood test to dismiss the DUI charge, resulting in a negotiated plea to Too Fast for Conditions and Reckless Driving.  

Chamblee – DUI Per Se 0.105 – Reduced to Reckless Driving

Our young bartender client had just gotten off work.  Naturally, she and her colleagues had an end-of-shift drink.  She decided to follow a friend home.  As the two were pulling through the parking lot to leave, rather fast, her friend braked when she shouldn’t have, causing a rear-end collision with our client listed as the at-fault driver.  We discovered that the other driver had a suspended license, though, and was not prosecuted because the accident technically happened on private property.  We were also able to show the Chamblee prosecutor that our client’s performance on field sobriety evaluations was also not as terrible as the report described, despite the .105 breath test. When the State refused to offer any reduction, we took the case up with the arresting Chamblee DUI officer, who later advised the State that there was no objection to a reduction in charges.  As a result of getting the officer on board, the Chamblee prosecutor agreed to reduce this over the limit case to reckless driving.

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 Refusal, Improper U turn: Reduced to Reckless Driving

Mr. Sullivan was able to save our client’s license from being administratively suspended for a year for refusing the state’s breath test after being arrested for an Atlanta DUI by a Georgia State Patrol Nighthawks DUI task force trooper.   Our client made an illegal u turn in view of the trooper and was stopped in a gas station parking lot.  Our client’s passenger was having a medical emergency.  Our client had noticeable slurred speech, but performed reasonably well on field sobriety evaluations.  He was arrested for DUI and refused the state breath test at the jail.  Mr. Sullivan was able to negotiate a dismissal of the DUI charge in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving, avoiding an Atlanta DUI conviction, but also avoiding a one year suspension of our client’s driver’s license. 

Henry County DUI: Reduced to Reckless Driving

Our client was pulled over after he made a wide right turn and then did not fully stop at two stop signs.  He was pulled over by a Henry County DUI officer and subsequently agreed to perform field sobriety evaluations, including a portable alcosensor.  He was arrested for DUI and the traffic violations and took the state breath test, which were .081, .078.  Mr. Sullivan was able to negotiate with the prosecutor to outright dismiss the Henry County DUI charge and enter a negotiated plea to minor traffic offenses. 

Dunwoody DUI Reduced Despite 2 Prior Convictions

Client was stopped for rather sloppy driving near Perimeter Mall by Dunwoody Police, and arrested for DUI.  Her previous attorney had the case bound over to DeKalb State Court, and filed some boilerplate motions, which were all denied.  The Court held that both prior DUI convictions could be used by the State at trial.  Client retained Bob Chestney at the last minute, with the case set for trial.  We were able to convince the judge to allow us to file an out-of-time motion to suppress the prescription drugs found during a search of her purse, and which she was alleged to be impaired from.  Prior to a hearing on this motion, the prosecutor who had a long history with Mr. Chestney offered to drop the Dunwoody DUI charge with a plea of Nolo Contendere to Reckless Driving.

Douglas County DUI Refusal/Search Warrant for Blood: Dismissed

Mr. Sullivan successfully avoided an administrative license suspension and a Douglas County DUI conviction for his client.   Client was stopped for following a truck too close.   After an admission of drinking and performing field sobriety evaluations, our client was arrested for DUI in Douglas County, red the Georgia Implied Consent Notice and refused the state’s chemical test.  The officer initiated an administrative license suspension action for the client refusing the state’s test and obtain a search warrant for blood.  Blood was drawn over an hour later and sent to the GBI toxicology department to be tested.  The administrative hearing was set before the toxicology report came back and the Douglas County Sheriff’s department blocked all efforts to release the video of the stop and full police report to Mr. Sullivan.  Mr. Sullivan used the power of the court’s subpoena process to compel the sheriff’s depart to comply.  They did not, but the officer ultimately decided not to go forward with an administrative hearing – saving our client’s driving privileges.  The toxicology report came back with a result well under .08 and Mr. Sullivan and the prosecution negotiated a dismissal of the DUI charge and entered a plea to Following Too Close only.

Athens DUI (Under 21) reduced to Reckless Driving

Under 21 student at UGA was stopped by GSP late at night for hitting the curb on a right turn.  Although the trooper smelled the odor of alcohol, our client denied drinking.  He reluctantly agreed to field sobriety tests (mistake), and was arrested for DUI in Athens, Underage Possession of Alcohol and Improper Turn.  He wisely refused to submit to any breath test.

The charges were filed in Athens State Court.  Although the judge ruled that the trooper did have reasonable grounds for the traffic stop, prior to trial Bob Chestney was able to persuade the prosecutor to drop the Athens DUI charge, in return for a plea to Reckless Driving and a conditional discharge on the Underage Possession charge.  This saved our young client’s driver’s license and criminal record.