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. 

Cherokee DUI Breath Test Refusal, Blood Search Warrant: Not Guilty Verdict

James “Skip” Sullivan defended his client in a Cherokee County DUI case through a jury trial.  Our client was found Not Guilty of all charges by a Cherokee County jury.  A Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy was parked at the entrance of an elementary school in Cherokee County monitoring traffic at an intersection.  Our client approached the intersection and made a wide right turn – crossing the double yellow line.  She also failed to maintain her lane a few times.  A traffic stop was conducted by the Cherokee County DUI officer and a DUI investigation began.  Our client admitted to drinking alcohol and even admitted to not being safe to drive.  She was also in a state of emotional distress and did not perform well on field sobriety evaluations.  She was arrested and agreed to a breath test, but changed her mind when she got to the jail.  The deputy obtained a search warrant for blood and two emergency medical technicians drew her blood at the jail.  When the blood samples arrived at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Division of Forensic Sciences, there was an insufficient amount of blood to test.  Mr. Sullivan took the case to a jury trial for his client and obtained a not guilty verdict on all charges – including the wide right turn and failure to maintain lane charges (that were on the video). 

Our experienced DUI trial attorneys at Chestney & Sullivan  can discuss your Cherokee DUI today.  Call us at 404.816.8777

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. 

Columbus GA DUI, Georgia State Patrol Refusal: Reduced to Lesser Charge

In a must win situation to avoid a DUI conviction in Columbus, Georgia, James “Skip” Sullivan – partner with Chestney & Sullivan Law Firm, was able to successfully navigate an administrative license suspension action and avoid a DUI conviction  for his client.  Our client was stopped for speeding by a Georgia State Patrol Trooper in Muscogee County, Georgia.  A DUI investigation followed where our client did not perform well.  He was arrested and refused the state breath test after the implied consent notice was read.  An administrative license suspension action was initiated by the trooper, were our client faced a one year suspension of his Georgia driving privileges for refusing the state breath test.  There is no permit if his license was suspended.  Mr. Sullivan was able to avoid the one year suspension of his client’s driving privileges and the trooper was not going to get in the way of negotiations with the prosecution.  We developed a plan for our client to but him in the best possible light for negotiations with the prosecution and Mr. Sullivan was able to negotiate a plea to Reckless Driving.  The DUI and Speeding charges were dismissed. 

If you are facing a DUI in Columbus or anywhere in Georgia, call Chestney & Sullivan today at 404.816.8777

DUI Ignition Interlock Waiver (Granted)

Sometimes our firm is called upon to do clean up on cases we did not represent clients on when they multiple DUI convictions in Georgia.  Typically people come to us to see if they can get a statutorily mandated requirement for the installation of an ignition interlock device waived by the trial court.  We routinely handle these types of cases and for the vast majority of these types of cases, we are able to have a trial court sign off on an order waiving the ignition interlock requirement.  Each court handles this issue differently.  We were hired by a person who was convicted of two DUI charges within five years of each other that triggered the ignition interlock requirement.  The most recent DUI was in Cobb County.  Our firm did not represent this particular client on those DUI cases and we were brought in to represent him post conviction.  Our client was moving out of state and would not be able to satisfy the ignition interlock requirements in the state he was moving to.  Mr. Sullivan was able to investigate the DUI in Cobb County, file a motion to waive the Ignition Interlock Device requirement, and if need be, conduct a hearing in court.  Mr. Sullivan was able to get the Cobb County judge to sign an order waiving the Ignition Interlock requirement and our client was subsequently able to get a license in the state he moved to. 

Atlanta DUI Breath Test: .106 (DUI Dismissed)

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. 

Johns Creek DUI Breath Test Refusal (Dismissed)

Our client was stopped in Johns Creek for not having his headlights on.   Our client’s driving and stopping sequence was captured on video – you could clearly see that his headlights were not on.  His driving was fine and the stopping sequence was conducted in a safe manner.  His exit from the vehicle was fine, but his breath smelled of an alcoholic beverage and our client made some incriminating statements to the Johns Creek DUI officer.  He refused to submit to standardized field sobriety evaluations and was arrested for DUI and Driving Without Headlights.  He was also served with a notice of an administrative license suspension action for refusing to submit to the state breath test.  Mr. Sullivan was able to avoid an administrative license suspension for our client and also convinced the Fulton County State Court prosecutor to dismiss the DUI and the No Headlights charge in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving. 

Atlanta DUI, Wrong Side of the Roadway (Dismissed)

Our client was stopped for driving on the wrong side of the roadway in Atlanta.  An Atlanta DUI Task Force officer was called to the traffic stop to conduct an investigation.  The Atlanta officer asked our client to complete field sobriety evaluations, which our client voluntarily did.  Although there were some balance issues, our client otherwise did well on these tests.  The Atlanta DUI Task Force officer arrested our client for DUI and read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice to him.  Our client refused the state-administered breath test and was served a notice of an administrative license suspension action for refusing the state’s breath test.  Mr. Sullivan was able to successfully avoid a one year administrative license suspension for his client and persuade the Atlanta Municipal Court prosecutor to dismiss all charges in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving. 

Atlanta DUI Accident, Breath Test Refusal (All Charges Dismissed)

Our client hit the median wall and drove the vehicle for a short distance until it became inoperable.  A witness saw the accident, called the police, followed our client and waited on scene to talk to the police.  A non-DUI officer first arrived on scene and placed our client in the back of the patrol vehicle.   That officer called an Atlanta DUI Task Force officer to the scene to conduct a DUI investigation, took our client out of the patrol car and conducted field sobriety evaluations.   The Georgia Implied Consent Notice was read and our client refused the state administered breath test.  Mr. Sullivan moved the DUI case out of Atlanta Municipal Court over to Fulton County State Court for a jury trial.  Mr. Sullivan filed various motions seeking to suppress field sobriety evaluations and the refusal to submit to the state breath test on statutory and constitutional grounds.  Mr. Sullivan also filed a motion to dismiss to to the extreme delay by the prosecution getting this case to trial.  The Fulton County State Court judge ruled the prosecution had not met its burden a a motions hearing and granted Mr. Sullivan’s motion to dismiss all charges. 

Cobb County DUI (.104 Breath Test) Reduced to Reckless Driving

Our client stopped to use the restroom at a closed park in Cobb County.  While n the parking lot, Cobb County Police Officers detained our client for being in the park after hours and conducted a DUI investigation.  Our client performed reasonably well on field sobriety evaluations, but was still placed under arrest for DUI in Cobb County.  Our client agreed to take the state administered breath test, which the result was a .104.  The legal limit in Georgia is .08.  Mr. Sullivan filed numerous motions challenging the stop and the admissibility of the breath test on statutory and constitutional grounds.  The was a case Mr. Sullivan was preparing to take up to the appellate courts, however, the Cobb County State Court prosecutor agreed to dismiss the DUI charges and the county park curfew charge in exchange for a negotiated plea to Reckless Driving.