Everyone can make poor choices. Unfortunately when you are a high profile individual, such as a celebrity or even just a well-known person within a community, your poor choices can make the evening news. Such is the case for Georgia State University (GSU) Police Chief Joseph Spillane.
Spillane was pulled over on June 18th of this year by the Fayetteville police. He was stopped after police noticed that Spillane's Mazda was not staying in its lane. According to dash cam footage of the incident, Spillane stated he had only had two beers and felt “good.” Spillane was asked to submit to a field sobriety test, which he did. However, he failed the test and according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), Spillane “told Channel 2 afterward he was ‘stunned' he failed the test.” He was equally surprised when he was told he was going to be arrested, asking the arresting officer, “You're going to put me in jail? Seriously?”
Spillane was subsequently charged with DUI, having an open container, and failure to maintain a lane. He was released on bond and was placed on administrative leave by the University.
He has since expressed remorse for the incident. According to 11Alive News, Spillane stated, “I apologize if I disappointed everybody – I really do . . . I feel bad about that. You know, I'm human, and it happened.” He stated that while he couldn't discuss the facts of the case, he didn't think he had been unsafe to drive. 11Alive News also reported that Spillane said, “I would say, it would be a lapse in judgment . . . I mean, I don't feel like I was under the influence of alcohol or less safe to drive but that's kind of what everybody says.” Spillane also stated that "I'm disappointed in myself for even getting in that situation . . . [y]ou know, it's sad but it can happen to anyone. I'm hoping that people will concentrate on the good things that we're doing at GSU." Channel 2 also spoke to Spillane. In addition to being stunned by his field sobriety test failure, he told the news network that "he is embarrassed and sorry that he's putting his family and the university through the public scrutiny." He also stated he is looking forward to his day in court and wants to handle the incident there, instead of in the "court of public opinion."
According to an August 1st article in the AJC, Spillane has gone back to work at Georgia State University. He was suspended for a period of twenty days following his arrest. He was informed in a letter dating July 21st that he could return to work. Spillane's case is not yet resolved; his next court date is on September 13th. The AJC reports that Spillane is hoping that his arrest can be a lesson to others. He stated, “I want people to know if you do have two beers, you can go to jail, and if you're failing to maintain your lane, be arrested.”
As Spillane's case shows, even a chief of police can make the unwise decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence. If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, don't let one poor choice affect your future. Contact Georgia DUI attorney Richard Lawson today for a free case consultation.