The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Did War Injuries Cause Failed Field Sobriety Test?

Excuses from motorists who fail field sobriety tests, conducted by officers to gather evidence for a possible DUI charge, are nothing new. But Clayton County police officer Martin Jones makes the unique claim that head injuries sustained during a tour of duty in Iraq made him appear intoxicated when he was pulled over last fall, according to WSBT News.

The cop and war veteran, a former Army sergeant, faces charges of DUI, reckless driving and speeding.

Martin Jones's Georgia DUI attorneys showed the jury a video of him being injured. But while the lawyers claimed the video illustrated why his behavior made him look drunk, prosecutors said it only would lead the jury to view him as a sympathetic figure regardless of the facts in the case. The judge allowed the jury to watch one video but he allegedly was hit by nine.

His Army convoy leader, Joseph Walker, testified that he sustained head injuries from roadside bombs that caused him to provide false-positive readings in breathalyzers:

"The doctor said Jones has a digestive disorder that sends any alcohol to the mouth, causing false readings in breath machines."

His physician, Dr. Lonnie Horowitz also testified and said the brain injuries caused his eyes to jerk, which is one of the signs officers look for during traffic stops that usually indicates intoxication.

But after the doctor profusely called Martin Jones "a hero," prosecutor Carrie McCurdy questioned his objectivity on the witness stand. In fact, she referred to Dr. Lonnie Horowitz as a "hired gun."

Arresting officer T.P. Dunn said Martin Jones, who was on-duty, had slurred speech and admitted to drinking cognac:

"You're carrying a gun and driving a vehicle as a police officer so you need to have full function."

Prosecutors claim he was driving 105 mph and had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.115 percent.

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