Question: So I was driving home from visiting my friend and I got pulled over by a Dunwoody police officer. I think it was around 3:00 A.M. The cop said I was speeding. He said he could smell alcohol and he asked if I'd been drinking.
I said to the cop I had a couple of beers because I didn't want to lie to a cop, especially a Dunwoody cop, because I've lived here my whole life. He asked me to get out of the car and I got out, and I admit I stumbled, but I don't think it was because of drinking. I think I just stumbled because I was nervous and I was wearing new shoes and they were pretty tight.
I was just visiting with an old friend from high school; we both went to Dunwoody High School together and we wanted to catch up. I work in insurance downtown and he was in the United States Marine Corps for seven years and he had some pretty interesting stories of his time overseas.
I did have more than just two beers, but not that much more. I might have had 6 beers, but I do drink a lot and it didn't seem like that much to me.
I know it doesn't look great if you stumble but I did his tests, the field sobriety tests, and I blew into a breath test on the road.
I'm not sure why, but the cop arrested me and put the handcuffs on and took me to jail for DUI. At the jail I did a breath test and I blew a .142, I think.
I just want to know about my chances in court and if a stumble looks bad and if you think my breath test was bad, you know, high. I just want to know my chances in Dunwoody with a DUI charge. I'm writing because I know you're a respected Dunwoody DUI lawyer.
G.F. in Dunwoody, GA
Answer: Before we assess your “chances in court,” that is in the Dunwoody Municipal Court, we'd certainly want to do some investigation. We'd want to scrutinize the police report and watch the video of the stop and arrest, if one exists. That's a good way of determining what your best options are and what specific strategies and tactics are most effective.
As for your question about a “stumble,” that really depends. Of course, a stumble never looks great when performing a DUI field sobriety test. A stumble, many people believe, is indicative of someone who has consumed alcohol and is likely intoxicated. But that isn't always the case, however. People stumble all the time, and for many different reasons. Perhaps the conditions where the person was walking were poor, and that could cause a loss of balance.
We'd want to review how you performed on the totality of the field sobriety tests: the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, the walk and turn (WAT), and the one leg stand. Then we can discuss your “chances in Dunwoody with a DUI charge.”