The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Jamal 'Sleepy' Anderson Plans to Plead Not Guilty to DUI

Last week, DeKalb County Police Department released more details in the arrest of former Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson on DUI charges, The Associated Press reports.

Even though driving drowsy is as dangerous as driving drunk, there currently isn't a law making it illegal to drive while sleepy. Anderson's attorney has taken advantage of this fact, announcing that Anderson wasn't drunk at the time of his arrest, merely tired.

According to the released police report, an officer spotted Anderson's Cadillac Escalade stopped at the intersection of Chamblee-Tucker Road and I-85. The former NFL star was reportedly asleep at the wheel.

The officer did his best to try to wake up the snoozing Anderson, but was ultimately unsuccessful, the report states. Eventually, officers used two patrol cars to box in Anderson's Escalade. An officer then reached through the Escalade's open sunroof and unlocked the car from the inside, according to authorities.

Anderson reportedly refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test, but failed a field sobriety test. He was booked into DeKalb County Jail on suspicion of DUI, and released after posting bond, authorities say.

Now, Anderson's attorney, Michael Hawkins, contends that Anderson wasn't drunk, only sleepy, at the time of the incident. "It appears that Mr. Anderson was tired after a long day of travel, spending time with his children, and visiting with out-of-town friends. He was not, however, driving under the influence of alcohol," Hawkins wrote in a prepared statement.

Without the results of a Breathalyzer test, it may be difficult for prosecutors to prove that Anderson was driving under the influence. However, by refusing to submit to a blood-alcohol test, Anderson may have violated the state's implied consent law. Under Georgia law, any person who operates a vehicle in the state has given "implied consent" to a blood alcohol test if suspected of DUI. Refusing to submit to the test can get your license suspended for a year.

Jamal Anderson is scheduled to appear in court on September 6 for his arraignment. Hopefully he doesn't sleep through his alarm.

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