As reported over the past month, a longtime Atlanta City Councilwoman was
recently arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) after refusing to take a chemical test, allegations to which she pleaded
"not guilty." The councilwoman, who has been serving on the
Atlanta City Council since 1993, told reporters from
WSB-TV that she plans to remain in her position despite the arrest and allegations.
She also stated that she plans to run for re-election and that she will
"continue to work hard for the citizens."
According to reports from the Atlanta Police, the councilwoman was arrested
in early May after she ran a red light and was seen driving on the wrong
side of the road. She admittedly told officers that she had been drinking,
but later refused to take a chemical test. Media backlash was strong,
and they had enough ammo to latch onto. As stated in police reports, the
councilwoman appeared to be intoxicated, and she had difficulty operating
the door of her vehicle.
She was also reported to have been turning the vehicle on and off while
attempting to exit her car. Naturally, media outlets throughout the region
latched on to the story, making it well known that the longstanding councilmember
had been arrested, as well as possibly losing sight of their objectivity
in efforts to shun her behavior. Despite such backlash, the councilwoman
and her attorney remain intent on denying all allegations and the councilwoman
has no plans to step down from her post.
Collateral Consequences of DUI Allegations & Convictions
The councilwoman's story serves to highlight the fact that DUI allegations
and convictions can create numerous collateral consequences beyond court-mandated
punishment alone. Criminal penalties for a DUI are indeed stiff, consisting
of possible terms of imprisonment, large fines, court-ordered education
classes, and various ongoing costs. Additionally, license suspensions
have their own way of severely inhibiting the personal, professional,
and financial well-being of convicted individuals. While the criminal
repercussions are well-known, few may realize that, just as in this situation,
even being accused of a crime can be enough to tarnish one's reputation,
and to threaten their professional career.
It's true that while the American judicial system upholds the standard
to treat all individuals accused of a crime as innocent until proven guilty,
societal judgment and simple human nature make others quick to come to
their own opinions and decisions before one is reached by the court. For
all intents and purposes, the councilwoman may very well be innocent,
but coverage of this story in the media and conversations throughout various
water holes and neighborhoods in the Atlanta community may reflect an
entirely different viewpoint – and one not so savory.
Protect Your Reputation & Future by Working with a Seasoned Atlanta
With such devastating consequences at stake, the threat of losing one's
reputation, professional career, and future financial security can be
the last straw for many. Public opinions about DUIs are strong, and the
fact remains that a DUI is a criminal offense, and one that will be seen
by potential employers, schools, landlords, and others who conduct background
checks. Many may understand the tangible, measurable penalties they face,
by few may realize that DUI convictions can subject them to numerous and
profound collateral consequences.
If you or your loved one is currently facing DUI allegations, do not be
led to believe that convictions for this criminal offense, especially
when aggravating circumstances are present, are not without their consequences.
In many ways, DUI convictions can significantly impact one's personal,
professional, and financial well-being, and the risks are far too serious
to not find the proper, experienced representation you need to protect
your future. Learn more about the charges and penalties you face, and
the ways in which a proven Atlanta DUI attorney can help, by contacting
the Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub today.