The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Macon Officer Charged With DUI, But Could Be Off the Hook

A Macon police officer is learning what it's like to be on the wrong side of the law.

Sgt. Andrew Drumond Clarke was charged with DUI and speeding Saturday after being stopped by the Georgia State Patrol, The Telegraph reports. According to Macon police, 29-year-old Clarke has been placed on five days' administrative leave for the time being.

Clarke's Volkswagen Jetta was stopped on Riverside Drive near Old Holton Road about 3:40 a.m. Saturday, according to a spokesman for the state patrol. Clarke was cited for driving 89 mph in a 45 mph zone.

The arresting trooper suspected Clarke was intoxicated and asked him to submit to a Breathalyzer test. Clarke reportedly refused to submit to the test, and was subsequently arrested. He was released from jail Saturday afternoon.

Under Georgia's DUI Law, it's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. If convicted, Clarke could face up to a year in prison, a maximum fine of $1,000, at least 40 hours of community service, and completion of an alcohol risk reduction program.

Clarke could lose his driver's license as well. Under Georgia law, anyone driving in the state has given "implied consent" to a blood alcohol test if suspected of DUI. Refusing to submit to the test will get your license suspended for at least a year.

However, Clarke could be off the hook. Chief Associate Magistrate Bill Shurling told The Telegraph he granted Clarke a "conditional dismissal" on Saturday after the arresting trooper failed to show up in Bibb County Magistrate Court. "It's standard procedure," Shurling said, as Clarke was arrested without a warrant.

But state patrol spokesman Gordy Wright says the charges won't necessarily go away. The arresting trooper plans to pursue charges in Bibb County State Court, Wright told The Telegraph.

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