Despite a public perception that DUIs only happen to a certain "type" of person, DUI charges can happen to absolutely anyone. Whether they are an upper-crust member of society, middle class working professional, or someone with four DUI convictions behind them, these charges are not limited in scope and can befall anyone. This does not mean they are a bad or indecent person, and if their attorney has anything to say about it, they may not even be found guilty of the DUI they are accused of.
Speaking to this point, a southern state Senator was arrested on DUI charges in November 2017. South Carolina's Senator Paul Campbell is the Senate Ethics Chairman and the CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority. The arrest occurred on November 4th when Campbell's car rear-ended another car on Interstate 26. Campbell claimed his wife was driving, but a witness claimed to have seen the two switch seats before police arrived.
Seeking Dismissal Based on Refusal to Grant Request for Independent Blood Test
Campbell's attorneys are currently seeking a dismissal of the charge on the grounds that Campbell was denied additional, independent blood testing when he requested it, evidence wasn't promptly handed over to his defense attorneys, and the video footage of Campbell during field sobriety tests did not show his feet at a critical moment of the tests. Campbell has maintained his innocence since being charged.
The prosecution has already faced hurdles in obtaining a conviction for Campbell. By denying Campbell the requested, additional testing, the officer was jeopardizing the prosecution's ability to use Campbell's 0.09 breath test result in court. Although DUI law differs state to state, the same law is true in Georgia: officers are obliged to accommodate anyone who requests additional testing after the police perform a blood, breath or urine test. If you request an independent test, you are responsible for the expense, but police cannot deny the suspect this right.
In Campbell's case, video footage shows the officer telling Campbell, "It's all we got," implying that the DataMaster breathalyzer was all that they had "available" to gauge a suspect's level of intoxication. The prosecution insists that Campbell's request to have a blood test was effectively a request to use a different breathalyzer, which the prosecution claims the police did not have to accommodate. The judge will weigh the motion to dismiss the case on Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018.
Seeking Dismissal to Prevent DUI Consequences
As a state senator, Campbell stands to lose a great deal if convicted on this DUI charge. Not only could it jeopardize his political career, but it could hurt his overall professional reputation and standing in the public eye. The consequences of a DUI are far-reaching and apply to anyone, not just congressional members.
A suspect's right to additional chemical testing is critical in every Georgia DUI case. If a suspect is denied additional testing, it could derail the entire case against them. Anyone who has been accused of driving under the influence in Dekalb County owes it to themselves to fight the charge and safeguard your future. It is advised to speak with a Dekalb County DUI attorney immediately. Contact us for a free consultation on your charges.