In the Pooler Municipal Court of Chatham County, Georgia my client (we’ll call him Joe) was charged with DUI less safe – 40-6-391(a)(1), and Failure to maintain lane – 40-6-48. He pleaded guilty to Failure to use due care. The charges of DUI less safe – refusal, and Failure to maintain lane disappeared.
From the Pooler police officer’s video, you can see that Joe never crossed a lane line. Joe didn’t even touch the lane line. But, the video shows that the police officer did cross the right lane line when he was behind Joe. When the police officer puts the blue lights on, Joe pulls over fine. But, the police report says Joe almost hit the curb. Didn’t happen — Did Joe almost speed? Did Joe almost throw something out the window? The report doesn’t mention that Joe braked properly, used his turn signal, switched off his turn signal, pulled over correctly, came to a complete stop, put the Mercedes in park, turned off lights, shut the Benz off, and had his license in hand before the police officer walked up.
The Pooler police officer asked Joe if he had been drinking and Joe said he had three drinks over the past four hours. The cop then ordered Joe out of his car. The cop asked Joe to try the Walk and Turn field sobriety test. Joe told the police officer he couldn’t do that because of medical reasons. The police officer then gave Joe a preliminary breath test, and then arrested Joe and asked him to take a breath test at the Chatham County police station. Joe said “No.”
I prepared Joe’s case the same way I always do; as if it will be a jury trial in the State Court of Chatham County. But, then a wonderful opportunity came along the way. The police officer agreed to let Joe plead guilty to Failure to use due care instead of DUI. What a marvelous thing.
Judgment: DUI Down to Failure to Use Due Care