In a must win case, Skip Sullivan and Bob Chestney were able to avoid an administrative license suspension for our CDL holder while his DUI case was pending and got a Not Guilty verdict from a judge in Fulton County State Court. Our client was asleep in his vehicle alongside a roadway in Sandy Springs. While on patrol, a Sandy Springs police officer came upon our client’s vehicle parked on the side of the road with the two driver’s side tires over the solid while fog line. Our client was asleep in the back seat of his car with throw up in the back of the car as well as outside on a door handle and on the ground. Once awoken and out of his car, client was very disoriented and showed visible signs of impairment. During the course of the investigation, the Sandy Springs officer had client sit back in his car. Client then proceeded to start up his car and revved the engine multiple times. The officer then turned off the car, grabbed the keys and got the client out of the car. As Sandy Springs DUI officer was called to the scene to assist in the DUI investigation. After performing field sobriety, client was arrested for DUI in Sandy Springs, Improper Parking, and Failure to Change Address within 60 days. At trail, Mr. Sullivan crossed examined the officers on their observations and argued the the judge that the prosecution had not met its burden of proving that defendant moved his vehicle at any point and if the prosecution was able to prove that the vehicle moved at some point, the prosecution had no evidence whether client was impaired at the time the vehicle was parked at that location. The Fulton County State Court judge agreed and found our client Not Guilty of DUI, Not Guilty of Failing to Change Address within 60 Days, but Guilty of the Improper Parking charge (Georgia DDS assesses no points for this offense). Client was able to save his Georgia CDL and his career.
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.
Client was stopped by Georgia Department of Natural Resources officers for violating a no wake zone. Officers claimed that client was attempting to flee after being told to stop. Boating field sobriety evaluations were performed and client was arrested for boating under the influence. The Georgia implied consent notice for boaters was read and client agreed to take the state’s breath test, but client also asked questions about her own blood test. Our client’s breath test was 0.145 (the legal limit for boaters is 0.08). After a motions hearing and arguments from the defense and prosecution, the judge suppressed the prosecution’s 0.145 breath test result. After a 3 day trial, a Forsyth County jury found our client not guilty of Boating Under the Influence, not guilty of Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer, and only found guilty of failure to obey a regulatory marker (no wake zone).
Client was stopped in Buckhead for driving with no tail lights (running lights only after dark). Although the trooper observed 6/6 clues on HGN and scored her poorly on WAT and OLS, she appeared quite sober on the video. Even the trooper was heard to tell his colleague she showed signs of little alcohol. But because she candidly admitted she had taken her prescribed anti-depressant medication that morning as she always does, the trooper arrested her for DUI-Combination Drugs and Alcohol. Client refused to consent to blood and urine testing when she was not allowed to call her father, a lawyer, for advice. She was found Not Guilty by the judge in a bench trial.