Off-Duty Cop Helps Catch Suspected Drunk Driver

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A police officer who was off-duty reportedly, warned Cobb County officials about a suspected drunk driver who they say has had several drunk driving violations in the past. Officials ended up arresting this driver, but not before he tried to take off and then hit a vehicle injuring two children, according to a news article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution .

Police arrested Christopher Wade Payne after he crashed into 41-year-old Annie McKelly’s van. The Marietta woman was driving with her 10-year-old twins – a boy and a girl in the back seat of her 1993 Plymouth Voyager. Both children were taken to an Atlanta area hospital. The girl had a broken ankle, but the boy had serious head injuries, the newspaper reported. Another sibling, a 11-year-old boy who was in the front passenger seat, was not hurt, the article said.

According to the newspaper, Cobb Police officer M. K. Smith was on his way home when he spotted Payne driving erratically. The officer alerted his colleagues using a walkie-talkie about the man he suspected to be a drunk driver. Patrol officers within minutes tracked down Payne’s truck and tried to make a stop. But Payne seemingly took off in a panic, ran a red light and hit the family’s van.

Payne was charged with driving under the influence, attempting to elude officers, aggravated assault on a police officer and serious injury by vehicle. Payne was also reportedly driving a stolen truck. Officials said Payne was a “habitual DUI violator.”

This person clearly did something you DO NOT do when an officer tries to stop you, which is to take off and trigger a pursuit. This type of behavior does nothing but worsen the already bad situation you are in. Even when you are stopped on suspicion of a DUI, the least you can do is be courteous to the officer. Getting into a fight with the officer is a sure ticket to get to jail sooner. Understand that you don’t have the right to an attorney right away. But what you do have the right to do is refuse to take a field sobriety test.

Once the official charges have been filed, get in touch with an experienced, knowledgeable Georgia DUI defense attorney right away. The more you delay in getting a good DUI attorney, the more you stand to lose – including your driver’s license, your driving privileges. Don’t let this happen to you. Get a qualified defense attorney on your side today!