Georgia DUI News November 2017

Posted by Richard Lawson | Dec 04, 2017 | 0 Comments

While November began the holiday season, it also had numerous DUI incidents. The end of the year is usually a time of happiness for people, but accidents or DUI's can put a damper on the holiday festivities. Some of the accidents this month included:

On November 10th, a 54-year-old man, Jeffrey Butler, was killed in a head-on collision in Newton County, Georgia. Butler was driving a Jeep Cherokee when he crossed the center line and hit a Chevrolet Avalanche that contained one adult and two children. Butler died, and the people in the Avalanche had minor injuries.

An Athens 911 dispatcher was arrested for a DUI on November 11 after she ran a red light, hit a vehicle, left the scene and then proceeded to strike another car. The officers noticed that she smelled strongly of alcohol and was unsteady on her feet. She was also unable to tell the officers what had happened. She claimed that she had been in the passenger seat and that she had no idea as to who had been driving the car. The drivers from the vehicles that she hit stated they saw her driving alone in the car. She has been subsequently fired from her job as a dispatcher. She will need an Athens DUI Lawyer.

On November 16, an alleged drunk driver, Clarence Blackshear, hit a motorcyclist outside an apartment complex. Blackshear was leaving the apartment complex in a Ford Fusion when he failed to yield to a motorcyclist, Jacob Schrim, who was in the left lane. Schrim was unable to avoid Blackshear, and he was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Blackshear was charged with DUI, serious injury by vehicle, and failure to yield when entering the roadway.

An Alpharetta police officer spotted a man, Dwayne Pope, traveling down highway 400 at an excessive rate of speed. The officer clocked the vehicle going more than 105 mph when the speed limit was 65. The officer followed Pope and attempted to pull him over, but it did not work, and a high-speed chase ensued resulting in Pope allegedly reaching 155 mph. The officer stated that suddenly Pope pulled over and said that he had not heard the sirens or saw the blue lights. He smelled of alcohol and failed several sobriety tests. He was charged with failure to maintain lane, DUI, speeding, and expired tag charges. He will need an Alpharetta DUI Lawyer.

An Alpharetta police car was hit on Georgia 400 by a 25-year-old on Friday, November 17th, 2017. The officer was Dustin Bak who was on his way home after a shift with the DUI task force. He was traveling on Georgia 400 when Joseph Gipe smashed into the back of the patrol car. Luckily, he will make a full recovery.

Another accident occurred on Georgia 400 involving an officer on Saturday, November 18th. A Forsyth County Sheriff's Deputy, Rod Reeves, was parked on Georgia 400 when a 2005 Ford Explorer hit the rear of his patrol car. The driver was suspected to be driving under the influence and was driving with a revoked license as a habitual violator. Reeves did receive injuries, but they were not considered life-threatening.

With the rise of social media, it is not surprising that kids are on their phones while driving. However, it was shocking when a University of Georgia student used his cellphone to record him going 110 mph on Snapchat. Hunter Ty Wilkerson led a police chase reaching speeds at 110 mph before he ran off the road, went airborne and crashed into several parked cars. Wilkerson had stolen five traffic signs off the UGA campus, and an Athens-Clarke County police officer estimated him driving 90 mph in a 35-mph zone. Wilkerson faces 25 charges that include fleeing a police officer, DUI, and reckless driving.

On the morning of November 30, a school crossing guard was hit and killed during her morning shift. Edna Umeh was the school crossing guard at Lindley Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia. She was directing traffic when the driver of a red Ford Focus swerved into the center lane, and as she was trying to turn around, Umeh was hit. Witnesses said she flipped up to the power lines and the ground.

In other news, Whitney Baker Howard received 25 years in prison as punishment for being convicted of two counts of vehicular homicide, DUI drugs, among other charges. The accident occurred in September 2016 and killed 25-year-old Ashley Block, who was a University of Georgia graduate student.

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Richard Lawson

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