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Off-duty officer reports suspected drunk driver, UGA student arrested

Athens-Clarke County Police reported that a University of Georgia student was arrested over the weekend for allegedly driving drunk. The student was arrested after an off-duty officer called police to report a suspected drunk driver.

According to The Red & Black, the UGA student was suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol after an off-duty officer noticed that the driver was operating his vehicle in a "reckless" manner. After spotting the suspected DUI driver, the off-duty officer continued to follow the driver until an on-duty police officer conducted a traffic stop.

The incident occurred shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. The 23-year-old student claimed that he was not driving in a reckless manner and he told the arresting officer that he had not consumed any alcohol prior to driving. However, the off-duty officer reported that the student had failed to maintain his lane when driving.

While conducting the traffic stop, the arresting officer noted that the driver appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. The driver's eyes were allegedly bloodshot, and the arresting officer reported that the odor of alcohol was detected while speaking with the UGA student.

The student was asked to take field sobriety tests. The student allegedly failed the tests and was arrested for DUI. The UGA student did refuse to take a breath test shortly after his arrest.

After conducting the traffic stop, the arresting officer also found open containers of alcohol in the driver's vehicle. It was also discovered that the student had a previous DUI arrest on his record. Due to the previous DUI arrest, the student was also charged with violating a restricted driving permit. Reports did not indicate whether the arresting officer actually saw the student driving in a reckless manner or whether the student was pulled over solely because of the off-duty officer's claims.

Source: The Red & Black, "Student charged after being followed by off-duty officer," Christian Whitmire, March 26, 2013