Firefighters, police officers and other government employees risk their lives every single day for the safety of Georgia residents. Indeed, there are so many unpublished deeds that they complete, which go unnoticed, our debt to these public servants can never be repaid. This is why it is such a tragedy that when a public servant is arrested and accused of DUI, news articles reporting on the event may sound as if the person is already guilty. However, no one is ever guilty of a DUI accusation until — and only if — that person is proven to be so in a court of law.
In such a recent case, a fire chief from southeast Georgia was put on administrative leave after he was arrested on drunk driving charges. He was arrested early morning on a recent Saturday and charged with speeding, in addition to the drunk driving charge. The City Manager for Springfield has since placed the man on leave pending a review of the facts surrounding the arrest.
The incident took place only one week after the fire chief received an award for exceptional service. That was for his excellent response to a November car accident that claimed the lives of three people. No doubt, the man’s past positive contributions to the community will serve to help him during the legal defense of his DUI allegations, though the strength and success of his defense will more heavily depend upon the underlying details of the incident.
The fact this man has been placed on leave from his position highlights the potentially severe consequences for simply being accused of DUI in Georgia. Not only can the accused potentially lose his or her driving privileges, but he or she could also lose employment prior to a conviction. Fortunately, this man will have his day in court and, in the best of outcomes, will hopefully be able to improve his situation dramatically. Many individuals accused of driving while under the influence are ultimately successful in getting their charges dismissed or significantly reduced.
Source: onlineathens.com, Southeast Georgia fire chief on leave after DUI charge, No author, Jan. 20, 2014