Marqeus Graham, Director of Bands at Savannah State University, was arrested in the early morning hours on Sunday, April 14, 2019 for charges relating to an alleged DUI.
Graham was pulled over initially for speeding on I-516. When the Georgia State Patrol Trooper approached the vehicle, he noticed "a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage." The trooper also reported that Graham's speech was slurred, and his eyes were bloodshot and watery.
The trooper asked Graham if he had consumed alcohol, at which time Graham denied having consumed any and became agitated at the question. He then refused to get out of his vehicle and refused to submit to a field sobriety test.
After considering everything that he had seen, the officer determined that Graham was under the influence and attempted to place him under arrest. Graham, however, resisted. Another trooper was brought in to help make the arrest. The two officer had to forcefully pull and grab Graham's arms in order to get him into handcuffs.
After the arrest, the troopers searched the car and found a red plastic cup with an alcoholic beverage in Graham's driver side cup holder. Graham was also driving on an expired license. He was then taken to Chatham County Jail.
In fact, this is not Graham's first DUI arrest. He was previously arrested by Savannah Police for DUI, open container violation, and passing stationary authorized emergency vehicles.
For the current arrest, Graham faces charges of:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol;
- Open container;
- Driving with an Expired License; and
Obstruction Charges in Georgia
Obstruction of law enforcement officers under OC.G.A. 16-10-24 is a common charge that accompanies Georgia DUI's.
The offense occurs when a law enforcement officer feels that a person "knowingly and willfully obstructs or hinders" the officer in performing his or her duties. Common acts that constitute obstruction include, but are not limited to:
- resisting arrest;
- attacking a police officer;
- refusing to follow the orders of a police officer;
- destroying or attempting to destroy evidence;
- fleeing a law enforcement officer;
- getting out of the vehicle without being told to do so;
- lying or giving false information to a police officer.
Law enforcement officers also include:
- prison guards;
- correctional officers;
- probation supervisors;
- parole supervisors; and
- conservation rangers.
Penalties for Georgia Obstruction
In Georgia, the crime of obstruction is a felony. If a person is convicted of this offense, he or she could face:
- a minimum of one (1) year in prison;
- a maximum sentence of up to five (5) years in prison.
A felony charge also comes with a significant stigma, and severe results on your ability to gain and maintain employment. When coupled with the charges related to a DUI charge, the potential combined penalties, fines, and probation can negatively impact your freedoms.
Consult a Georgia DUI Attorney
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for obstruction, DUI, and other DUI related charges, an experienced Georgia DUI attorney can defend your case and protect your constitutional rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.