The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Judge Rucker Smith Charged With DUI in Sumter County

Even a judge can face DUI charges in Georgia if he or she shows signs of impairment behind the wheel. Judicial Circuit Chief Superior Court Judge Rucker Smith, for example, was charged with driving under the influence after he was pulled over by law enforcers in Sumter County.

WALB News reported that the judicial circuit judge was pulled over for speeding on Saturday after allegedly driving 63 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. Smith then refused to take part in field sobriety tests and was booked in jail on charges of speeding, open container, and driving under the influence refusal.

This apparently isn't even Judge Smith's first run-in with the law. In 2005, Smith was charged with battery after getting into a fight with his girlfriend. However, the battery case did not result in a conviction; a jury acquitted Smith of the criminal charges.

We'll see if the judge can get away without a conviction this time around. Because Judge Rucker Smith refused to submit to a breath test or cooperate with other field sobriety tests, it's possible that a jury will find that there's not enough evidence in his case for a DUI conviction. Yet breath test refusal can lead to penalties under Georgia's implied consent law. The state of Georgia, for example, can suspend a driver's license for a year when a person refuses a breathalizer, blood, or urine test.

A person can always appeal the driver's license suspension penalties. However, a person can also be found guilty of DUI even when the driver refuses chemical testing. A DUI conviction can result in even more severe penalties.

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