Attorney: Councilwoman plans to plead not guilty in DUI charges
by The Associated Press
May 10, 2013 12:00 AM | 799 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA — An Atlanta city councilwoman facing charges including drunken driving didn’t show up at a news conference her attorneys had scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Attorneys for Councilwoman Cleta Winslow said she had to attend a budget meeting at City Hall and that their client plans to plead not guilty to several charges stemming from an incident earlier this week.

“She actively and eagerly awaits the resolution of this case,” attorney Antavius Weems told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A police officer stopped Winslow in southwest Atlanta around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday. In a police report, an officer says he saw a Honda Accord run a stop sign and a red light, and that it was weaving and traveling on the wrong side of the road.

After being pulled over, Winslow could not figure out how to open the car door, the officer wrote in his report.

“She could not find the door handle to exit the car. In fact, she was turning the car on and off in an attempt to exit the car,” he wrote.

The police report also states that Winslow seemed “very distant/out of it.”

During the press conference, Weems said cars parked alongside the road where Winslow was stopped may have distracted her.

Winslow refused a field sobriety test, police said. She was charged with DUI Alcohol Less Safe, driving on the wrong side of the road, failure to stop for a stop sign, reckless driving and a red light violation.

Winslow told the officer she had two dirty martinis at a bar before getting behind the wheel, according to the police report.

“It’s not illegal to drink and drive in Georgia,” Jackie Patterson, another of Winslow’s attorneys, told the newspaper. “It is only illegal to drive impaired. We are asserting she was not an impaired driver.”

Winslow plans to appeal an administrative suspension that was placed on her license because she refused to take the sobriety test, Patterson said. State law allows for a driver’s license to be suspended for a year if the driver doesn’t submit to a sobriety test.

The councilwoman is free on $3,355 bond and is scheduled to appear in court June 11.

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