The Atlanta DUI News Blog

February 2011 Archives

VP of Clayton County Commission Wole Ralph Charged With DUI

Clayton County Commissioner Wole Ralph was arrested on suspicion of DUI last week, but the county official claims that he is innocent and says that he plans to fight the drunk driving charges. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ralph wrote in a statement that he is looking forward to “resolving this matter in court.”

Ralph, who is now the vice president of the commission, was pulled over in Atlanta on February 19 for “driving recklessly.” Police said that the driver refused to cooperate with officers and that he was taken to the Atlanta Grady Detention Center for DUI processing after a brief struggle with authorities. Ralph has been charged with DUI, obstruction, reckless driving and failure to maintain lane.

NHTSA Launches "Kiss Me, I'm Sober" Campaign

While many people choose to celebrate St. Patricks Day by wearing green and drinking Irish beer, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding people across the country not to drive while impaired on this upcoming holiday.

StopImpairedDriving.org reports that numerous law enforcement agencies will be out in full force on St. Patrick's Day in an effort to crack down on drunk drivers. This year, NHTSA is launching the "Kiss Me, I'm Sober" campaign to encourage drinkers to designate a sober driver so that DUI accidents and DUI arrests can be avoided. The safety campaign is set to go from March 8 to March 17.

Jarrett Jack Had .079 BAC Level on Arrest for DUI

Jarett Jack of the New Orleans Hornets was arrested in Snellville, GA over the weekend after failing field sobriety tests when pulled over for a traffic citation. Yet the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that when the basketball star was taken to the Gwinnett County Jail 90 minutes after being pulled over, he had a blood-alcohol level of just .079 percent. This is just below Georgia's legal drinking limit of .08 percent.

In court, prosecutors could try to argue that Jarett Jack was over the legal limit of .08 percent when operating his vehicle, as authorities say that alcohol dissipates from the system at a rate of .02 grams per hour. Meanwhile, Jack has made a public apology for the arrest and says that he will try to learn from his "mistake" and not repeat it.

Man Arrested For DUI After Not Turning On Headlights

Driving at night with no car headlights on could be a reason for police to pull you over. If officers notice that you’re impaired when citing you for no headlights, then you’re in trouble.

Perhaps 22-year-old Preston Cirel Morris learned the lesson about keeping headlights on the hard way. According to Online Athens, officers stopped Morris on Cherokee Road in Athens last month because his headlights apparently were not on, but officers also say that they caught him breaking more severe laws after he was pulled over.

Car Drives Through Terry Lee's Sandwich Shoppe

Terry Lee's Sandwich Shoppe was once a popular lunch destination in the town of Albany, but if you were to now pass by the destination at 116 W. Broad Avenue, you might just see a building with shattered windows and holes through the wall. This is because an alleged drunk driver smashed his car through the sandwich restaurant on Wednesday when he was trying to park his vehicle.

The Albany Herald reports that the driver Charles Hollis accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes when he was trying to park in front of Terry Lee's Sandwich Shoppe. Police officers arrived at the scene and administered field sobriety tests in the Terry Lee's parking lot. The suspect was then arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and taken to the Dougherty County Jail.

Montley Crue's Vince Neil Goes to Jail For DUI

Vince Neil checked into the Clark County Detention Center in Nevada on Tuesday and began his 15-day jail sentence for a DUI conviction that surprised many of his loyal fans. According to AOL Music, the Montley Crue singer will also have to complete 15 days of house arrest before he goes on tour with the band in South America.

Neil reportedly pleaded guilty to driving under the influence on January 26 in a Las Vegas courtroom after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors. The DUI conviction stems from an arrest last year, where authorities said that he had a blood-alcohol level that was almost three times the legal limit.

Blue Laws That Ban Selling Alcohol on Sundays Could Change

It's currently illegal to sell liquor from stores on Sundays in the state of Georgia, but some lawmakers are trying to change this state policy. After all, alcohol sales on an extra day of the week could significantly boost sales tax revenue and contribute to economic growth.

Yet WALB-TV reports that religious groups in the state are adamantly opposed to the sale of alcohol on Sundays. While some people are opposed to extending the hours of when alcohol can be bought because of a fear of more drunk driving accidents on the road, religious leaders are against the proposed change in policy because they see Sunday as the day for honoring God.

First-time DUI offenders can face some harsh legal penalties in the state of Georgia, but offenders who are found guilty of driving under the influence while operating a school bus can face even more extreme consequences.

Section 40-6-391.3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated states that a licensed school bus driver is to be sentenced for a minimum of one year of imprisonment and a maximum of five years of imprisonment, a fine of 1,000 to $5,000, or both. A licensed school bus driver can even be ordered to spend such a significant period of time in prison if there were not any passengers on the school bus at the time of the offense.

Jefferson High School Student Returns to Wrestling After DUI Arrest

An 18-year-old student at Jefferson High School was arrested for driving under the influence last month, but does this arrest mean that the teenager should be off the high school's wrestling team?

CBS News reports that Jefferson High School, located in the Atlanta metro area, has a policy that reads "Use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs will cause your suspension or possible dismissal from the team. This applies to in school or outside of school." Zach Allen is the star of the high school's wrestling team, but some parents are saying that the teenager should be dismissed from the team because of his recent DUI charge.

APD Investigator Bennie Bridges Arrested For DUI

It’s always fun to hear of those stories where a cop arrests another police officer. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that authorities in Cobb County recently arrested an officer with the Atlanta Police Department on February 3 after the off-duty officer was seen driving at very high speeds.

Officer Bennie Bridges was booked into the Cobb County Jail last week after the highway incident and was reportedly charged with speeding, DUI and marijuana possession. Jail records show that Bridges is now out of jail on a $1,900 bond.

Superbowl Sunday and Drunk Driving

Did you know that Americans consume more than 325 million gallons of beer each year on Superbowl Sunday? InjuryBoard.com reports that this is enough beer to fill almost 500 Olympic-size swimming pools. Needless to say, Superbowl Sunday is one of the most dangerous days to drive on Georgia roadways because of all the drunk drivers that decide to get behind the wheel.

According to News Channel 9, about 25 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by drunk drivers on any given day in the state of Georgia. However, this number jumps up to 48 percent of traffic fatalities on Superbowl Sunday.

Cracking Down on DUI Crimes With Operation Thunder

Residents of Hall County should avoid driving while impaired and keep their eyes on the lookout for increased sobriety roadchecks and patrols this year. According to Access North Georgia, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety launched Operation Thunder Taskforce Teams last week in the county, which led to 23 DUI arrests in the region over the first two days of enforcement.

Operation Thunder kicked off last week with a 75-unit law enforcement motorcade that drove up I-985 into Gainesville. In addition to the 23 DUI arrests in the Gainesville area, law enforcers also arrested another 46 motorists driving on suspended licenses. About 40 citations were also issued to drivers for seatbelt violations and another 14 tickets were given to motorists for violating state child passenger safety belt laws.