A Georgia mayor is currently behind bars after being arrested by police officers in his own town. Police believe that he operated a local government vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, although he never actually submitted to any type of blood-alcohol content testing. Although these are not the first criminal charges that the mayor has faced, prior accusations should not play a role in current criminal proceedings.
According to eyewitness reports, the mayor was often spotted behind the wheel of a city police cruiser, one of only two in the small town of 140 people. Those reports later increased to include allegations that he was turning on the emergency lights on the vehicle and, in some cases, even initiating traffic stops. One woman claims that she was pulled over by the mayor only to discover that she had not violated any type of traffic law, and that he had simply wanted to speak with her.
Following these complaints, local police pulled him over and placed him under arrest. At the time, officers felt that they had sufficient reasons to suspect that he was under the influence of alcohol, and asked that he submit to testing. The mayor declined the request.
While some in the community might be eager to point to past criminal charges, each and every allegation must be viewed and considered on its own, and not in the context of any other ongoing criminal investigations. Even if found guilty on a prior charge, the innocence of defendants on more current charges is protected and upheld by the law. Since past convictions do not play a role, Georgia defendants cannot be found guilty unless a prosecutor is able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that all aspects of the current charges are both true and viable.
Source: heraldcourier.com, "Georgia mayor charged with impersonating police and DUI", Feb. 2, 2016