The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Fulton Co. Elections Chief Jailed for Not Completing DUI School

Controversial Fulton County elections chief Sam Westmoreland is currently serving a 10-day sentence in Fulton County Jail.

Westmoreland was busted back in 2009 for DUI. In July, he had his probation revoked after failing to attend a DUI course, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Now the slip-up may cost him his job.

On Dec. 23, 2009, Westmoreland was stopped on Ga. 120 after making an illegal U-turn. The results of a blood test showed the elections chief was under the influence of the sedative benzodiazepine, according to the GBI Crime Lab.

Georgia has a "per se" drugged driving law. The law makes it illegal to drive with any detectable amount of drugs in your system. That means if you're found to have even a trace of a controlled substance in your system, you'll get the same DUI charge you'd get for drunken driving.

A first-time DUI conviction is usually punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000, up to 12 months in prison, at least 40 hours of community service, and completion of an alcohol or drug use risk reduction program. Westmoreland was sentenced to parole contingent on him attending an alcohol and drug risk reduction program, a M.A.D.D. course, and completing community service hours.

He slipped up by failing to complete the risk reduction course, according to authorities. On July 16, Westmoreland's probation was revoked and he was sentenced to 10 days in jail. However, the sentence was postponed until after the July county primaries "in order to prevent potential hardship upon the voters of Fulton County," the judge stated.

For the time being, Registration Chief Sharon Mitchell and Board of Elections Vice Chairman Leslie Small will be taking over for Westmoreland. However, once he's out of jail, it's unclear whether Westmoreland's position will be waiting for him. A special meeting is set for Friday to determine Westmoreland's fate.

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