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Georgia councilman charged with drunk driving

Media outlets in Georgia have reported that a member of the Canton City Council was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol following a routine traffic stop during the early morning hours of May 14. Breath tests conducted after the 40-year-old man was taken into custody allegedly revealed his blood alcohol concentration to be 0.119. He was released from the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center later in the day after posting a $1,560 bond.

According to a Canton Police Department report, an officer pulled over the councilman's Tesla sedan on Reinhardt College Parkway at approximately 1:00 a.m. after observing it weaving between traffic lanes. The officer says that he took the councilman into custody after the driver performed poorly during a standardized field sobriety test. The officer claims that the councilman initially denied he had been drinking but later admitted that he had consumed two alcoholic drinks before getting behind the wheel.

An attorney representing the councilman says that his client maintains his innocence and plans to fight the charges against him. The attorney is also said to have filed a motion to suppress the field sobriety test evidence and dismiss the charges. The motion is based on the claim that the councilor was not told he could refuse to submit to the field sobriety test and his subsequent detention was therefore illegal.

When presented with facts like these, experienced DUI defense attorneys may study police reports to see if the officers involved noticed any signs of intoxication. This is because indicators such as slurred speech, glassy or bloodshot eyes or an incoherent demeanor may provide police with probable cause to order a field sobriety test without consent. Attorneys may also advise motorists suspected of driving drunk to not answer questions that could incriminate them.

Source: The Canton-Sixes Patch, Canton Councilman Arrested For DUI: Canton Police, Kathleen Sturgeon, June 4, 2019Source: The Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News, Update: Canton councilman fighting DUI charge, Shannon Ballew, June 4, 2019

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