In the State Court of Effingham County, Georgia my client (we’ll call him Joe) was charged with Driving under the influence – 40-6-391 (DUI less safe refusal), Failure to maintain lane – 40-6-48, and Too fast for conditions – 40-6-180. This would have been his third DUI. Joe plead guilty to reckless driving. The DUI less safe refusal, Failure to maintain lane, and Too fast for conditions were dropped.
It was raining. Joe crashed into a tree coming around a curve because his steering failed. Earlier that day he bought two quarts of power steering fluid for his truck. Now sitting in his truck, his femur bone was sticking out of his leg. He was cut out of his truck and taken to the hospital. According to the Effingham County police report he smelled like alcohol, and his speech was slurred, and his eyes were bloodshot, and he said he had drunk a couple of beers earlier. Naturally, he was charged with DUI. While he was laying there the cop asked him if he would let them test his blood for alcohol. He said OK. Then at the hospital when they tried to take his blood, he wouldn’t let them.
After meeting Joe and listening to his story, I drove to the scene of the accident in Effingham County. I believed this was an unfortunate accident. But it was not caused by alcohol. Joe was innocent. I was ready to fight.
The solicitor general in Effingham County prepared to take this case to trial because it would be Joe’s third DUI. Early on, I tried to get him to let my client plead the DUI to something else. But he would not agree. So I got ready for trial. After months of getting ready and talking to the prosecutor and showing him the problems with the case he finally allowed my client to plead guilty to a non-DUI charge. I wish I knew why. All I know is he is a great lawyer and a good man. Maybe he believes in second chances.
Judgment: DUI reduced to reckless driving in Effingham County