11/26/2007One Hundred Georgia Cops Arrested for DUI
More than one hundred Georgia police officers have been arrested for driving drunk. Many received special treatment.
A local television news investigation last week uncovered the names of more than one hundred Georgia law enforcement officials who have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). WGCL-TV found evidence that these officers sought -- and in many cases received -- special treatment.
Offenders included both low and high-ranking officers. Habersham County Sheriff's Captain Freddie Chapman had four alcohol-related arrests and three DUIs while he was on the force. He was only convicted on the third DUI after pleading no contest in court.
"He admitted he made a mistake and he was wrong," Sheriff DeRay Fincher explained to WGCL.
Police in DeKalb County, a notorious speed trap, had the worst DUI record. Officers Wendell Campbell and Donald Cloudt were allowed to keep their jobs despite each being twice arrested for DUI. Sergeant Michael O'Neal's July arrest, captured on dashcam video, was not enough to merit firing. He exchanged the following words with a police officer who had arrested him for DUI.
O'Neal: Brother to brother, will you cut me a break?
Officer: Absolutely not.
O'Neal: Others have put me in situations that are unprofessional, and I let it go.
Officer: You let a drunk driver go?
O'Neal: Yes, I have.
The officer arrested O'Neal, and the department allowed O'Neal to resign -- an important consideration for his future employment prospects. Former Clarkston Officer Neil Bullock, according to police reports, fired his gun out of his car window and caused an accident while drunk. He is now working as a police officer in Snellville.
Another DeKalb officer, Delvin McKibbens, blacked out behind the wheel and caused an accident that sent another motorist to the hospital. McKibbens received a one-day suspension.
Atlanta Police Officer James McGrath caused a three-car collision after he was stopped for DUI. Former Troup County Deputy Kevin Yarborough destroyed his patrol car while drunk behind the wheel in 2002.