In recent years, there has been a crackdown on DUIs in Georgia. Organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have lobbied for stricter DUI laws and penalties. Stronger efforts to crack down on DUI has made the stigma of receiving a DUI that much worse. Many courts punish DUI offenders more harshly than even people who have been arrested for a felony, even a felony drug case.
Will a Political Connection Help a Suspected DUI Driver?
The short answer is “No.”
We occasionally have clients tell us they have connections with a local mayor, a local judge, a police officer, city councilman, or a judge in another jurisdiction. Others have connections to state legislators or someone considered to be in a position of political power in state government. Many of these clients ask us if it is helpful to reach out to these connections to assist in their DUI case. After all, we have always been told, "it is not what you know but whom you know," right?
Unfortunately, calling in a favor when it comes to a charge of DUI will usually backfire. The reason it will backfire is that very few politicians are willing to spend political capital to help someone accused of a politically unpopular offense such as a DUI.
Due to the high negative stigma of a DUI, people with political power do not want to put their name on someone's DUI case. For the politician, there is little to gain and much to lose when they are associated with any court case.
Additionally, in Georgia, all prosecutors are also politicians. They are either elected or appointed by a city council or county commission. As a result, they ultimately answer to the voters directly (through an election) or indirectly to the same voters, through the people who appointed them.
As a result, no prosecutor is going to risk his or her job because some other politician wants a favor. Even worse, the prosecutor may be offended by the attempt to influence them. No one likes to feel outside pressures when he or she are trying to do their job.
Not only will the attempt to influence the prosecutor or judge fail, but asking a “friend” for such help may end a friendship. Asking someone for help puts them in an impossible position. If they try to help, they may be harmed. If they say "no," you may resent them and they may resent you for asking them.
The best advice is to allow your Georgia DUI attorney to work out your best defense without jeopardizing your friendships. Using your Political connections after a DUI arrest in Georgia will likely backfire.