The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Gwinnett Deputy Charged With DUI After Totaling Patrol Car

Drunken driving recently cost a Gwinnett deputy his job.

Robert Christopher Matt apparently went on a drunken joy ride early Wednesday that ended when he totaled his patrol car, Channel 2 Action News reports. Matt has since resigned from his position with the Gwinnett Sheriff's Department.

Justin Jamar was walking home from work when he saw a wrecked patrol car. "Not every day you walk up to a police vehicle overturned and no one in it," Jamar told Channel 2. "We weren't sure if he had been ejected [from] the vehicle during the crash so we started looking everywhere, making sure no one was in a ditch or anything."

Officers were called to the area, according to the Georgia State Patrol. They found that a Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department vehicle had gone off an embankment and rolled over multiple times.

While no one was in the vehicle, officers found a female passenger, 27-year-old Katie Lynn, wandering nearby. She was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center for treatment.

Authorities were able to trace the vehicle to Matt, who was off-duty at the time of the wreck. They found the deputy a few miles away at his home. He was covered in cuts and bruises.

Matt was arrested and charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, having an open container, and failing to maintain his lane. Authorities haven't released Matt's blood-alcohol content at the time of the accident. However, it must have been over 0.08 percent to warrant a DUI arrest.

Regardless of whether you're drunk, it's illegal in the state to drive with an open container of alcohol in your car. A first offense in Atlanta will get you a fine of about $200.

Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway noted that, besides the incident, Deputy Robert Christopher Matt had a clean record while working for the department. Conway said in a release that he was "highly disappointed in the actions of Deputy Matt, who until this incident had a good work record with several commendations that included the Life Saving Award for his quick action in saving an inmate's life who attempted suicide."

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