Our client was stopped at a Gwinnett Police DUI checkpoint on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. The Gwinnett DUI Task Force Officer conducted an investigation after he smelled alcohol coming from our client. Our client agreed to perform field sobriety evaluations and was arrested for DUI in Gwinnett County. The Gwinnett DUI Task Force are the only Gwinnett Police Officers who have in-car videos, however at a pre-planned DUI sobriety checkpoint, those in-car videos inexplicably were not used. Our client agreed to submit to the state administered breath test and the result was a .089. The legal limit in Georgia is .08. The intoxilizer machine displayed an unexplained error during our client’s breath test. Mr. Sullivan and Chestney & Sullivan Law Firm are well known for challenging the constitutionality of DUI sobriety checkpoints as well as the admissibility of state administered breath tests. Mr. Sullivan was setting this case up for appellate review. On the day of a motions hearing, the Gwinnett County DUI prosecutor agreed to dismiss the DUI charge in exchange for a plea to a lesser traffic offense of Reckless Driving.
Mr. Sullivan’s client failed to maintain her lane to the point that she struck a curb and blew two tires out, observed by a citizen who called the Gwinnett Police. Client was visibly intoxicated and had very thick, slow, and slurred speech. Our client also could not keep balance while walking. After a DUI investigation, she was arrested for DUI in Gwinnett County. The Gwinnett DUI case began in Gwinnett Recorder’s Court, but after plea negotiations failed, the case was sent to Gwinnett State court to preserve our client’s right to a jury trial. On the day of trial when the case was called, the prosecution offered a reckless driving disposition that our client accepted.
James “Skip” Sullivan represented a client in a Gwinnett County roadblock case where the client was speeding up to the roadblock and cut off another driver before stopping at the Gwinnett DUI roadblock. The roadblock was set up by Gwinnett DUI task force officers (the only officers that have video in their patrol cars). For reasons not credible, the Gwinnett DUI task force officers elected not to use their videos during this roadblock, nor during the transport of our client to the Gwinnett County Jail. The Gwinnett DUI task force officer that conducted a DUI investigation claimed that our client had very sleepy, droopy, bloodshot eyes, and that his speech was heavily slurred. The Gwinnett DUI officer also claimed that our client was unsteady on his feet. His breath test results were .082, .077. Even though the Gwinnett police decided not to use video, our client had a dash camera that we played during trial. Although the video showed our client cutting off another driver and coming up to the roadblock fast, he looked fine, no droopy/sleepy eyes, and was steady on his feet for the brief time he was on camera. His speech was also not slurred. The prosecution offered a reckless driving offer before trial, but our client rejected. The jury found our client not guilty of DUI and not guilty for cutting off the other driver. The prosecution elected not to charge our client with speeding.
Our client made a wide left turn after stopping at a red light and then failed to maintain his lane as he approached a parkway in Gwinnett County. The Gwinnett County DUI Officer estimated our client’s speed exceeding 90 mph on the parkway before he initiated a traffic stop. Because of the condition of the roadway, only the horizontal gaze nystagmus and one leg stand evaluations were done. Officer noticed slurred speech, some balance issues, and bloodshot, glassy eyes. No video. Our client was arrested for DUI and refused the state breath test. Mr. Sullivan conducted an extensive pretrial motions hearing that locked two officers in contradictory testimony and established the condition of the roadway may have impacted field sobriety evaluations. After being placed on multiple trial calendars and finally being reached for trial, the prosecution agreed the morning of trial to dismiss the Gwinnett DUI in exchange for a plea to reckless driving only.
Client was pulled over by a Gwinnett County Police Officer after he spotted her driving on the sidewalk. The officer smelled an odor of alcohol coming from her breath, noted in his report that her eyes were bloodshot and watery, and client admitted drinking. After a review of her case, we urged the State to dismiss the DUI due to the low test result and the minimal manifestations of impairment. The State eventually agreed. Client was thrilled that we avoided a DUI conviction, saved her driver’s license, and that she did not have to return to jail. Client assumed that since she blew over the legal limit, a DUI conviction was automatic. And, had she hired an attorney who was not well-versed in the caselaw differentiating what evidence is and is not sufficient for a conviction for DUI, her case may have turned out differently.