Mr. Sullivan represented a commercial truck driver in Atlanta who was stopped by a Georgia State Patrol DUI Task Force Trooper for not having his headlights on. Our client also failed to maintain his lane. The Trooper conducted field sobriety evaluations and our client was arrested for a DUI in Atlanta. The client agreed to submit to the state breath test and blew a .117. The legal limit is .08. Mr. Sullivan challenged the admissibility of the breath test in court along with a motion arguing our client’s right to a constitutional speedy trial was violated. The court found that the Fulton State Court prosecution was not able to meet it’s burden at a motion hearing and granted Mr. Sullivan’s motion to dismiss all charges. Our client’s commercial driver’s license and his career were saved.
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 was stopped in Atlanta by a Georgia State Patrol DUI Trooper for suspended registration. Client admitted to having two drinks and agreed to perform field sobriety evaluations. The Trooper marked client off for “clues” during the administration of the tests and arrested client for a DUI in Atlanta. Our client refused to take the state administered test of her breath. Mr. Sullivan was was able to persuade the Atlanta DUI prosecutor that the trooper failed to follow his training regarding field sobriety evaluations, and as such, the results were compromised. The prosecutor agreed to dismiss the DUI charge and the suspended registration charge (a charge that if convicted for, causes a license suspension) in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving and Expired Tag.
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:
A concerned citizen was following our client and called in to Georgia State Patrol that our client was failing to keep the vehicle in a single lane. A Georgia State Trooper spotted our client’s vehicle and also noticed it failing to maintain the vehicle within the lane. The trooper initiated a traffic stop in Covington, Georgia and after a brief conversation, allowed our client to drive off. The Trooper then saw our client drive off onto the shoulder of the road and stopped the vehicle again. A DUI investigation began, where our client performed field sobriety evaluations and tested high on a portable alcosensor (almost twice the legal limit). Our client was subsequently arrested for a DUI in Covington. Mr. Sullivan was able to convince the prosecutor that the client performed well enough on field sobriety evaluations that a jury might not convict on the DUI charge. The prosecutor agreed and a plea to reckless driving was negotiated.
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.
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).
Client was arrested in Atlanta by Trooper Tarpley in 2014, blew .069 but admitted taking some Rx medication, so blood test was requested but refused. Reckless Driving was offered in Atlanta, but client declined the onerous conditions. In Fulton County filed a last-minute accusation charging DUI Alcohol Less Safe. Case was set for trial, and State amended accusation to DUI Combination Drugs/Alcohol. Partner Bob Chestney moved to quash the amended DUI count, and the Court granted the motion. Client entered a plea to Reckless Driving with much more reasonable terms than those offered in Atlanta.
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.
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.