By Cobb County DUI Lawyer William C. Head
Case Report – Cobb County Arrest with 0.244/0.249 – Not guilty on all charges!
The most notorious Cobb County DUI trial ever handled by DUI lawyer Bubba Head started with a Cobb County traffic ticket, with the pullover made at almost midnight, by a Cobb County Police Officer who was (at the time) a DUI task force officer. The alleged traffic offense was “failure to maintain lane” on westbound Wade Green Road, about ½ mile west of I-75.
The Client was a high school teacher, who had his two sons in the back seat. All 3 were coming from a charity sports event at their high school. Significantly, no video was captured of any errant driving by the full-size SUV being driven by the teacher. The vehicle was old, and had nearly 300,000 miles on it, so a lane violation was possible.
When the arrest VIDEO started, however, and for the next 30 seconds or so, the driving by the Client was perfect. Plus, the driver was not exceeding the speed limit, but was in the right lane of the westbound lanes. Due to dark window tint, the passengers inside the SUV could not be clearly observed from the rear view capture of the police video.
As soon as blue lights were activated, the black SUV was observed applying the brakes, turning on the right blinker signal, and turning down a side street, to the right. The driver’s home was on the next street going westbound, but the driver stopped at the closest safe place, off the busy highway.
The Cobb County DUI task force officer approached the SUV and talked to the driver before directing him to step out of the vehicle. Questions then began about the officer claiming to smell alcohol on the driver’s breath. After some conversation, the driver told the officer that he had consumed some alcohol hours earlier, after leaving work, but none recently.
The Cobb County police officer then told the driver that he needed to perform some field sobriety tests, to “make sure” he was safe to drive. The driver questioned why that was necessary, and pointed out that he lived one street over, and was almost home. The officer insisted that the field sobriety tests were needed. Like most people, this Client got the distinct impression that saying “NO” would result in an immediate arrest.
During the administration of the field sobriety tests, the officer made multiple errors in administration of the roadside tests, such as the DUI eye test, or “HGN test.” The officer also gave non-standardized field sobriety tests, such as a partial ABCs, that have no “claimed” reliability by any police or scientific agency, but often surprise people, and make them look bad on police video.
Yet, the Intoxilyzer breath alcohol test results obtained at the Cobb County jail were an astonishing 0.244 and 0.249 blood alcohol content (BAC) — meaning each sample was allegedly more than TRIPLE the legal alcohol limit of 0.08 grams per cent. With these very high breath test results, that were so much higher than the legal drinking limit, the Cobb police officer assumed that this case would be a guilty plea to the DUI charges in GA. The arrested man was charged with DUI less safe as well as DUI per se (being over the legal limit of 0.08), and booked into the Cobb County jail.
Instead of a guilty plea to DUI, the man ended up hiring Cobb County DUI lawyer William C. “Bubba” Head. An acquaintance of the accused Cobb DUI driver had been successfully represented by Mr. Head in a Fulton County DUI with the same two types of DUI charges, less safe DUI and per se DUI. That acquaintance previously had been acquitted of all charges in the Fulton DUI case, with Mr. Head as his DUI attorney.
Two important details were obtained in the initial investigation. The police report, which was later obtained from Cobb County arrest records, showed a “faint odor of alcohol” for the arrested man. Plus, the video did not show a DUI driver who looked triple drunk, from these high BAC levels.
The trial judge heard the pretrial motions (to suppress and a motion in limine, seeking to limit testimony) in November 2011, but denied all of the defense motions, setting stage for a jury trial. The trial occurred in summer of 2012, and took seven full days. The jury was “deadlocked,” and unable to unanimously agree on any of the three charges:
Mistrial Ends the First Trial, After 7 Full Days
When jurors cannot unanimously agree, this is a form of a mistrial. The prosecutor was unwilling to offer a reduction of the DUI, so plans were made for a retrial of the case. The prosecutor told the Judge that she wanted the transcripts of all of the DUI expert witnesses used by Mr. Head, so the judge postponed the re-trial until late March of 2013.
The Second Trial Finally Gets Underway
The re-trial took eight full days, due to complex legal issues and medical issues of the client, relating to health problems (slow gastric clearing, gastric reflux and similar digestive factors). In addition, field sobriety test DUI experts were called, by Mr. Head to explain the unreliability of roadside tests, especially when the police officer does not follow police training.
Not Guilty On All Charges – Exonerated by the Jury
On April 4, 2013, the Cobb County State Court jury found Mr. Head’s client NOT GUILTY of all DUI charges and the lane violation. This jury verdict on the DUI charges required the clerk to enter this on the Cobb County court records to reflect a total acquittal of all charges. This action helped the client get his mugshot taken off the internet, and allowed him to no longer have restrictions placed on him by the Cobb County school system.
Cobb County DUI lawyer William C. (Bubba) Head has received awards for national and State leadership in the field of DUI defense. Mr. Head has also been named as an honoree from multiple organizations, including EVERY Super Lawyers list in Georgia. All three partners, William Head, Larry Kohn and Cory Yager, were selected by Super Lawyers for 2017. Call 404-567-5515 to talk to a lawyer, about your pending drunk driving or drugged driving case.
Of more than 35,000 licensed Georgia attorneys, only 4 DUI lawyers in the State have achieved Board Certification through the National College for DUI Defense. Atlanta DUI lawyer Bubba Head is of those 4 DUI attorneys. NCDD.com
Mr. Head also has twice been named DUI Lawyer of the Year, by Best Lawyers in America, for Atlanta DUI attorneys. Those badges are shown above.
Call 42-year veteran Atlanta DUI attorney Bubba Head today and get honest answers to all your questions. Tell us everything that happened and everything you remember about your DUI arrest. The sooner you call us, the better chance we have to win your DUI case and get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Remember, you only have 30 DAYS to file a license suspension appeal or apply for an ignition interlock device, or your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year! Talk to Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, or Cory Yager now. We are available 24 hours a day, weekends, and all major holidays. (404) 567-5515