Rep. Ben Harbin was arrested and charged with a DUI on May 20 after he swerved off of an Atlanta street and ran into a pole, according to an article. According to police reports, Harbin smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and had trouble keeping his balance soon after the incident.
The House Appropriations Committee chairman kept saying: “I just want to go home” and refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test, the newspaper article said. Harbin, 43, told police he had “looked down at the floor and when he looked up he saw a pedestrian in the roadway, slammed on the brakes and veered into the pole.”
Officials asked him to perform a field sobriety test, during which officials say he could not maintain his balance. Emergency medical technicians, who examined Harbin for injuries, sent him to the local hospital as a precaution. At the hospital, the congressman declined to take the blood alcohol test. Harbin was booked on suspicion of drunk driving and then released on a $1,200 bail. He now faces charges of driving under the influence, striking a fixed object and failure to maintain lane. A statement he released this week said he regretted the accident and that he thanks his family and friends for their support during this difficult time.
Hundreds of these incidents happen every day, in Georgia, and across the nation. And yet, when it’s a public figure – be it a senator, congressman, sports personality or entertainer – these incidents assume larger-than-life proportions.
According to several studies, including one conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), most officers don’t conduct field sobriety tests the way they are supposed to be conducted. And some of them don’t even know the proper procedure to conduct these tests. Numerous experts also admit there are inherent flaws in the way these tests are designed in that they could be difficult to pass even for someone who is sober.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Georgia all you need a lawyer who is aggressive, efficient and experienced.