The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Bibb County Judge Off the Hook for DUI Traffic Stop

It looks like Bibb Superior Court Judge Howard Simms is off the hook.

Simms was stopped last month during a road check and blew a BAC that was over the legal limit. However, the judge was able to sweet talk his way out of a DUI arrest and ended up driving himself home that night. Now Bibb Sheriff Jerry Modena says Simms probably won’t face charges in the incident, WMAZ reports.

Simms’ red Ford F150 pickup was pulled over at a license check point on September 22. A Douglas County deputy reportedly smelled alcohol coming from the vehicle and handed the matter over to local officers, as per procedure.

A Breathalyzer test indicated that Simms’ had a BAC of .083 percent. In general, having a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher will get you arrested for DUI in Georgia. However, Simms was apparently able to talk his way out of an arrest and drive away scot-free.

Simms identified himself to the officers and insisted that he drive home. He said that he wouldn’t allow anyone else to drive his truck and that there was no one home who could pick him up, according to authorities.

Modena says that the officers showed poor judgment in letting Simms go and didn’t follow protocol by failing to give the judge a field sobriety test. Since Simms wasn’t arrested at the time of the stop, the district attorney won’t be charging the judge with DUI or any other crime.

“I don’t like it because we made a mistake,” Modena said. “And these sheriff’s deputies down here, they’re better than this, and we’ve had a long talk about it, but that’s what’s come back and that’s why the case probably will not go to trial … We’ve looked to see if we can find any new evidence in it, and we can’t.”

However, Simms could still be in trouble with the State Judicial Qualifications Commission if it can be shown that the judge used his position to win favorable treatment. Under the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct, it’s improper for a judge “to allude to his or her judgeship to gain a personal advantage such as deferential treatment when stopped by a police officer for a traffic offense.”

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