The Georgia chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) has recognized the Gwinnett Police DUI Task Force as the top force in Georgia for its over 1200 DUI arrests last year. One officer made over 280 arrests! Impressive, right? Here’s the problem: the news coverage of this award. While the Gwinnett Daily Post and the Atlanta Journal Constitution are falling all over themselves with high praise of the Task Force, and the one officer in particular, they don’t tell the public the actual number of guilty pleas or convictions the Task Force obtained.
I am certain that over 50% of those arrests resulted in convictions, but wouldn’t it be interesting to actually see the numbers? I know for a fact that in 2010, I obtained a not guilty verdict for a DUI case with the officer mentioned in the article, and had 2 other Task Force cases reduced. These were DUI arrests that we fought because the client was not impaired, and because there were issues in each case that we were able to use to win the case.
Please don’t misunderstand, my concern is not the number of DUI arrests; my concern is the media not giving the public the full story. As is obvious from looking at my past cases, not every DUI arrest results in a guilty plea or conviction.