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Judge will not be charged with DUI after traffic stop in Georgia

When police suspect a driver of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, police must make sure they follow the law and their department's policies when conducting traffic stops and making DUI arrests in Georgia. This is to ensure that traffic stops are being conducted lawfully and that arrests are being made without violating people's civil rights.

When policies are not followed, there is usually not enough evidence for prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against folks who have been suspected or accused of driving drunk.

For example, a Georgia judge was pulled over by police last month after police suspected that the judge was driving drunk. Police administered a breath test during the traffic stop and the test revealed that the judge was over the legal limit of 0.08. But because police allowed the judge to drive home after the stop without filing an incident report or without arresting the judge, prosecutors have decided that they do not have enough evidence to pursue charges.

The judge was pulled over on Sept. 22. After administering a breath test that revealed a reading of 0.083, officers concluded that the judge was not showing typical signs of intoxication so they allowed him to drive home. Police did follow the judge to make sure he made it home safely. The officers were later suspended for not arresting the judge so that another breath test could be administered. The officers also failed to file an incident report.

As a result of the policy violation, officers did not obtain enough evidence to file charges against the judge. Prosecutors reported last week that the judge will not be charged with DUI. Although the judge will not face criminal charges, he has yet to learn whether he can return to the bench.

Sometimes it may not be apparent when an arresting officer has not conducted a lawful traffic stop or has not followed his or her department's policies when it comes to arresting drivers for DUI. Fortunately, an aggressive and experienced DUI defense attorney will know how to look for these mistakes when representing clients who have been arrested for drunk driving.

Source: The Telegraph, "No criminal charges to be filed in Simms traffic stop," Amy Leigh Womack, Oct. 19, 2012