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Georgia city council member faces DUI charges

A city council official in Cartersville is facing serious charges, but was able to avoid immediate time in jail, according to local sources. Georgia authorities arrested the man in the early morning of Nov. 5 on suspicion of drunk driving. He now faces DUI charges, but he signed an ROR bond that allowed him to be released from custody. An ROR, or "released on your own recognizance" bond, is a signed agreement that allows the defendant to go free but guarantees he or she will appear at later court proceedings.

According to the police report, around 3 a.m., the 34-year-old man was pulled over by Cartersville police after his vehicle was observed not to have operating tail lights. The officer attempted to conduct the traffic stop but had to follow the man several blocks, as he was purportedly traveling at a high rate of speed and ignoring stop signs. The vehicle was eventually pulled over in a parking lot.

The officer on the scene said he detected the smell of alcohol when he approached the vehicle. The man allegedly admitted to drinking three 12-ounce beers at a friend's home, and requested the officer contact the chief of police on his behalf. The council member refused a breath sample and was transported to the local police headquarters, where he signed the ROR bond. He elected to walk home as his license was confiscated.

Considering no mention was made in the report of a roadside sobriety or breath test being conducted, it remains to be seen if one or both tests were administered. In order for an individual to be convicted on DUI charges in Georgia, persuasive evidence must be presented to the court proving his intoxication beyond a reasonable doubt at the time his vehicle was pulled over. The man's defense team will review the evidence that prosecutors intend to use in court and help the accused man decide how he would like to proceed, whether that means fighting the charges through a jury trial or seeking to negotiate a plea agreement in exchange for a reduction in charges and/or favorable sentencing considerations.

Source: Cartersville, GA Patch, "Cartersville City Councilman Charged With DUI", Kristal Dixon, Nov. 7, 2017

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