Whenever a politician gets arrested for drunk driving, it always makes headlines. In the case of local politician being arrested for drunk driving, it becomes the talk of the town. For this reason, many politicians try to keep their arrest quiet, though it doesn’t usually work.
However, according to a recent news article from AL.com, authorities have just confirmed that Birmingham City Council President Johnathan Austin was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Mountain Brook back in December of 2014. This is the first time the arrest has been made public. While Mountain Brook Police Department officials said it has a policy of turning over all arrest reports to the media whenever a request is a made, the department said nobody every made a request before now.
Reporters tried to contact Austin for comments, but reporters aid he did not return any calls.
However, his attorney did release a statement to the media saying Austin has accepted responsibility for his actions and is doing what his required to do meet his obligations to the city in connection with his DUI arrest.
While some are implying Austin may have been given special treatment, his attorney insisted the case was being handled the way any other case would be processed.
As the case is still pending in municipal court, neither the police nor the court said they could release any other information.
According to charging documents that have been released, policed pulled Austin over around 10 p.m. He arrested on the scene for suspicion of drunk driving. His license was suspended by operation law for 90 days due to the fact that he did not submit to a breath test or other chemical test when he was in police custody immediately following his arrest.
As our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys can explain, while it is true you could lose your license for a period of time by not taking a breath test, you may fare better in court if the police do not have a breath test result to use against you. This is a complicated issue, but since most people have already been arrested and made a decision by the time they consult an attorney, it is normally a matter of dealing what has already transpired.
While Austin has not been convicted of any crime and is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty in a court or law, this is not his first involvement with the police. Following his appointment to the Birmingham City Counsel it 2008, the public learned he was arrested and plead guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana charge in 2003. With respect to that arrest, he said it was not something of which he was proud, but said it has nothing to do with his ability to be a competent city council member. He said he was young at the time, and the incident showed the public that while he made a mistake, he could overcome it.