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Georgia state official faces DUI charges

A deputy commissioner is facing serious allegations that could threaten his career, according to local sources. Police arrested the Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources on Nov. 19. The man now faces DUI charges and has been placed on administrative leave pending investigations by the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Revenue. 

Details of the incident are still sparse at this point, but it has been confirmed that the man crashed his sports car in Jasper County. Police responding to the scene said the man appeared to be intoxicated; his eyes were allegedly bloodshot and watery, and the State Patrol trooper on the scene said he detected the scent of alcohol on the driver. When questioned, the man said he had swerved to avoid hitting a deer, and maintained he had only had two drinks before driving. 

A subsequent breath test indicated the man's blood alcohol level could have been as high as .146. The commissioner was arrested on site and taken to a local jail, though it is unclear whether he is still in custody or released on bail. Police say they found nine intact jars of what they believe to be moonshine in the vehicle, with a further five smashed in the crash. 

If the deputy commissioner is found guilty of the DUI charges filed against him, he could lose his position with the Department of Natural Resources as well as his driver's license. He may even face jail time. However, it will be up to Georgia prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the man was drunk behind the wheel. Breath tests are often unreliable as a means to prove intoxication, so the commissioner's defense team may take issue with it being included as evidence in the case. 

Source: wctv.com, "Georgia official charged with DUI, moonshine found in car", Nov. 23, 2017

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