Police officers aren’t above the law. If an officer drives drunk they won’t get special treatment. In fact, the penalties for a police officer convicted of DUI can be even more severe than for everyday citizens. This is a reality Glynn County officer Kevin Yarborough may soon have to face.
Yarborough, who is recognized as one of the state’s leading DUI experts, was recently arrested for DUI. According to reports, the 17-year veteran was observed crossing a white line and a double yellow line while getting ready to make a left-hand turn. He was stopped by local police and given a breathalyzer, which he failed. He was arrested and facing criminal charges for DUI driver less safe and other traffic violations.
The Police Must Have Reasonable Suspicion to Make a Traffic Stop
Police officers can’t just pull a driver over because they feel like it. They must have reasonable suspicion that the driver has violated the law. Reasonable suspicion involves more than a gut feeling or hunch. Instead, the suspicion must be based on “specific and articulable facts” that, when considered together, allow an officer to infer that a person is involved in illegal behavior.
Yarborough was pulled over when police officers saw that he failed to maintain his lane. He crossed a white line and then a double yellow line. Armed with these observations, a police officer could reasonably infer that the driver could be intoxicated. Had Yarborough stayed within the lines and not violated any other traffic laws, officers probably wouldn’t have had grounds to stop his vehicle.
It’s always important to investigate the circumstances around the traffic stop that leads to a DUI arrest. If a traffic stop is unlawful the state can’t be allowed to benefit. Any criminal charges that stem from that illegal traffic stop must be dropped.
Professional Consequences for a DUI in Atlanta
Anyone convicted of driving under the influence in Georgia will be subject to criminal and administrative DUI penalties. You can lose your license, be sentenced to time behind bars, required to pay fines, and ordered to complete mandatory drug and alcohol treatment programs.
Getting a DUI can also have certain collateral consequences. Collateral consequences aren’t criminal or administrative. Rather, they’re civil penalties that exist because you’ve been convicted of a crime. Some of the most devastating collateral consequences are those that impact your job or career.
After his DUI arrest, Yarborough was placed on administrative leave and prohibited from working. Police officers are employed to uphold and enforce the law. When a police officer breaks the law, it’s hard to place trust in them. As a result, a police officer convicted of a crime, especially DUI, will likely face termination.
Yarborough may be even more likely to lose his job than others because he’s known as one of the leading DUI experts in the state of Georgia. He’s one of 200 officers in Georgia certified as a drug recognition expert. In 2016 and 2017 Yarborough was named the state’s drug recognition expert of the year. If he’s convicted of a DUI it may cast a dark shadow on these accomplishments. He may no longer be a valid or reliable source of expertise in DUI cases.
Getting a DUI can have professional consequences for anyone, not just police officers. It’s important to fight DUI charges aggressively after an arrest. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced Atlanta DUI attorney for help. Your attorney will know how to defend your case and get you the best possible outcome.