A Georgia man was arrested in the early morning hours of Friday, May 3, 2019, after driving off of the roadway and damaging about a dozen graves.
The man, Erik Sneed, age 41 of Dalton, Georgia, was driving east on Emery Street in a black Chevrolet GMT 400 pickup truck at around 2 a.m. near the Georgia Apartments at the time of the accident. He failed to make the road's curve, drove off the road, and entered the cemetery.
Around 12 graves were severely damaged. When Dalton police arrived on the scene, they had Sneed perform several field sobriety tests. He failed them. He was later arrested and taken to jail.
Officers and employees of the Dalton Public Works Department have spent time working to determine the exact number of graves damaged or destroyed and a list of the owners and next of kin who need to be notified.
Sneed is now charged with driving under the influence (DUI) less safe and failure to maintain lane.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with DUI less safe, there are defenses that an experienced Cherokee County DUI attorney can present to protect your rights. Remember, just because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty.
DUI Less Safe: Understanding the Law
O.C.G.A. 40-6-391 states that a person shall not:
“drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.”
DUI investigators are on the lookout for any sign of intoxication, even when a breathalyzer test determines that you are under the per se limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC). With DUI less safe, you do not have to be over the legal limit in order to be charged with a Georgia DUI.
In fact, you can be well below the legal threshold, or be charged in situations in which your breath was never tested. When a DUI less safe is charged, the officer's or officers' testimony is used to decide whether a person was intoxicated. The determination is left up to the jury to decide if the person was driving illegally.
Proof Officers Will Use
Instead of a breathalyzer, officers must use other testimony in order to "prove" you were intoxicated:
- bloodshot eyes,
- slurred speech,
- inability to walk or stand,
- incoherent statements,
- distraction or inattentiveness,
- poor performance on field sobriety tests, and
- any other observation that could be considered "intoxication."
This supposed "proof" is far from conclusive and can be challenged by an experienced DUI defense attorney.
Consult an Experienced Cherokee County DUI Attorney
Charges of DUI less safe are often charged when a prosecutor is unable to make other DUI charges stick because of a lack of evidence. To defend your case, an experienced Cherokee County DUI attorney can present legal defense on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case.