Atlanta Police Receives H.E.A.T. Grant for DUI Enforcement

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. 

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

Hapeville DUI Breath Test Refusal: Reduced to Reckless Driving

Our client was found passed out at an intersection in Hapeville, Georgia.  A concerned citizen called 911 and the Hapeville Police responded.  After banging on the window for a while, our client woke up and exited the vehicle.  He smelled of alcohol and a DUI investigation was conducted.  The Hapeville police officer scored inconsistent results with the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus evaluation (indicating the officer did not administer the test in accordance to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines).  Our client did poorly on the Walk and Turn evaluation and the One Leg Stand evaluation.  Once placed under arrest, he refused to the state administered breath test and a license suspension action was initiated.  Skip Sullivan was hired to avoid a DUI conviction in Hapeville for his client.  Mr. Sullivan not only avoided a one year suspension of our client’s driver’s license, but was also able to negotiate a dismissal of the Hapeville DUI charge in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving in Hapeville Municipal Court

if you are charged with a Hapeville DUI, or have been arrested for a DUI anywhere in Georgia, contact Skip Sullivan at Chestney & Sullivan today at 404.816.8777. 

Twiggs County DUI, Speeding 100 mph: Reduced to Reckless Driving

Skip Sullivan represented a client that was travelling from Savannah to Atlanta on Georgia Highway 16.  His client was clocked speeding at about 100 mph and was pulled over.  After smelling alcohol on our client’s breath, the Twiggs County Sheriff’s Deputy began a DUI investigation.  The deputy did not follow his training on the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus evaluation and our client did reasonably well on the Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand evaluations.   When arrested, our client was read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice and refused the deputy’s request for a breath test as our client wanted the more accurate blood test.  Mr. Sullivan sent the DUI case out of Twiggs County Probate Court to Twiggs County Superior Court to preserve our client’s right to a jury trial.   He was able to to convince the prosecutor that the Twiggs DUI charge was weak and the DUI was dismissed in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving.  Our client lived out of state and never had to set foot in court. 

If you are charged with a DUI in Twiggs County or anywhere in Georgia, call the experienced DUI trial attorneys at Chestney & Sullivan today. You will be glad you did.  404.816.8777

Austell DUI Single Car Accident, .164 Breath Test: Reduced to Reckless Driving

James “Skip” Sullivan represented a person charged with a DUI in Austell after he drove his car up on the railroad tracks right next to the Austell Police Department.  Our client was very cooperative with the Austell DUI officer throughout the DUI investigation.  Due to the weather, the only field sobriety evaluation that was done was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus evaluation.  Our client was then arrested and read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice.  He agreed to take the state administered breath test on the Intoxilyzer 9000 and blew a .164 – twice the legal limit here in Georgia.  Mr. Sullivan was able to convince the prosecutors in Austell Municipal Court that they would be in for a long court battle in Cobb County State Court over the admissibility of the breath test.  The prosecutors agreed to dismiss the DUI in exchange for a negotiated plea to Reckless Driving and Basic Rules. 

If you or a loved one are facing a DUI in Cobb County, call the experienced DUI trial attorneys at Chestney & Sullivan today at 404.816.8777

Atlanta DUI, Near Collision: Reduce to Reckless Driving

James “Skip” Sullivan represented a driver charged with a DUI in Atlanta, where his client ran a red light and almost collided with another vehicle.  The driver of the other vehicle called police and followed our client, who stopped in front of an Atlanta Police precinct.   A DUI investigation was conducted by an Atlanta police officer, where the officer observed major damage to our client’s car.  Our client could not recall how the damage got there or when it happened.  Our client was arrested and charged with DUI.  Mr. Sullivan decided to move the DUI case out of Atlanta Municipal Court over to Fulton County State Court for a jury trial.  Mr. Sullivan believed our client’s due process rights were violated as our client was never read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice, nor was he afforded the opportunity to submit to a chemical test.   The prosecutor in Fulton County State Court agreed and dismissed the DUI charge in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI in Atlanta, Fulton County, or anywhere in Georgia, call the experienced DUI trial attorneys at Chestney & Sullivan today 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

Georgia State Patrol Chamblee DUI, Speeding and Failure to Stop at a Red Light: Not Guilty DUI and Speeding

James “Skip” Sullivan took over a Chamblee DUI case from another law firm that was transferred to DeKalb State Court for a jury trial.   Our driver was stopped by a Georgia State Patrol Trooper (Nighthawks), for speeding and failing to fully stop before a stop bar at a red light (vehicle was past the stop bar into the intersection).  When the trooper initiated his emergency equipment, our client pulled into the nearest gas station and stopped.  Apparently our client had to use the rest room pretty bad, but was stopped by the trooper for a DUI investigation.  After realizing that our client really did have to use the rest room, he was allowed to do so.   Then the Trooper had him perform field sobriety evaluations, which our client did poorly (still complaining his stomach hurts).  He was arrested for DUI but refused to be handcuffed, resisting arrest.  Once under arrest, our client refused to submit to a state breath test.  The prosecutor refused to negotiate a lesser charge, so  Mr. Sullivan took the case to jury trial.  The jury found our client not guilty of DUI, not guilty of speeding, guilty of the Obstruction of a Law Enforcement charge, and a mistrial was declared on the Red light charge (jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on that charge).  Although we received a guilty verdict on the Obstruction of a Law Enforcement charge, the DeKalb judge agreed with Mr. Sullivan that the First Offender Statute applied even after a jury verdict if the client decides to use it and the judge accepts it, meaning if the client completes his sentence requirements successfully, the Obstruction charge would be dismissed without a conviction! 

if you are charged with a DUI or a serious traffic or criminal offense, call Chestney & Sullivan today at 404.816.8777.  Mr. Sullivan or Mr. Chestney would be happy to discuss your case with you.