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President of Northeast Georgia Medical Center faces DUI charge

Getting behind the wheel after having had too much to drink is a very serious mistake, but after all is said and done, it is just that -- a mistake.

And, as everyone in Athens could tell you, we all make mistakes from time to time. One person who seems to have committed an error in judgment is the president of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Recently, the director was charged with DUI in connection with an Oct. 27 incident.

Around 1:40 a.m. on that day, a state trooper was called to a one-vehicle crash on Georgia Highway 283 just south of Shirley Road. He found a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara that had left the road and struck a sign, mailbox and a culvert pipe.

In an arrest report filed over the incident, the officer said the president had been driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. The officer observed that the president smelled strongly of alcohol.

The president was charged with DUI because he refused to take a blood-alcohol test. If a driver in Georgia refuses to take such a test, his or her driver's license will be suspended for a year automatically.

It does not seem that the president was hurt in the crash.

Northeast Georgia Medical Center released a statement saying it was aware of the president's charge. It characterized it as a "personal legal problem" that he is working through.

As we said, driving when you are intoxicated is a very serious mistake, but it doesn't necessarily speak to a fatal personal flaw or a deeply damaged sense of judgment.

Source: The Gainesville Times, "President of Northeast Georgia Medical Center charged with DUI," Emma Witman, Nov. 19, 2012