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Clarke County man has had prior run-ins with the law

Police in Clarke County say a man fabricated an armed robbery story in an ill conceived effort to avoid another drunk driving charge. The incident dates back to a Saturday in April. Apparently, the 21-year-old man has a prior DUI in Georgia. While it remains to be seen if prosecutors will seek drunk driving charges against him, he is facing a misdemeanor count of falsely reported a crime.

According to Athens-Clarke police, the man wove a detailed story of a robbery. He claims to have driven with friends to a local fast food restaurant and when the friends left to chat with some girls, he was accosted by a man that entered his truck. Supposedly, the man grabbed an unloaded gun that had been wedged between the console and a front seat, loaded it and robbed the driver. However, authorities say they questioned the account immediately.

When confronted by police with the prospect of facing a felony charge for providing police with false statements, he is said to have had a change of heart. According to authorities, he acknowledged that he had made up the entire story. Instead, he reportedly went to the fast food restaurant and ordered food at the drive through window, passed out in the pickup, and pulled his vehicle into a parking space after a restaurant worker awakened him. He went to pick up his order, only to learn that about four hours had passed. Noticing that his gun and wallet were gone, he supposedly decided on the fabricated story to avoid a charge of drunk driving.

It is unclear what evidence authorities may have to proceed with a DUI charge. As this case heads to a Clarke County courtroom, the accused man will have to focus on the accusations at hand as well as the facts of the underlying incident. The fact that he apparently already has a drunk driving conviction may be an important factor in how the prosecution chooses to proceed. Should a conviction be obtained on any charge, it may also bear on the court's decision regarding sentencing. While it remains to be seen how the case will turn out, it underscores how a drunk driving conviction -- or even the mere threat of a DUI charge -- can follow a person should they encounter further troubles with the law.

Source: onlineathens.com, "Athens man made up armed robbery story to avoid DUI charge," Joe Johnson, May 14, 2013