Judge Howard Simms says he won't resign after his recent DUI stop and plans to return to the bench soon.
The Bibb County Superior Court judge talked to 13WMAZ's Kenny Burgamy about getting caught in that Sept. 22 road check, his alcoholism and his future.
Simms says he'd been drinking all day, but didn't feel drunk, when he got stopped. He said he'd been drinking beer while watching football that day and drove to Kroger to pick up some steaks.
That's when a Douglas County deputy stopped his Ford F-150 pickup and noticed Simms smelled of alcohol.
After Simms got a .083 on a breathalyzer test -- just over the legal limit for drunken driving -- Bibb County officers agreed to let him drive home, about 5 miles.
Simms says he never asked for "any kind of special treatment" when he was stopped.
He says Bibb County Capt. Alden Washington made the decision to follow Simms as he drove home. He says he's known Washington for more than 20 years.
Washington and another Bibb County officer were suspended for poor judgment and violating procedures in the case.
Asked what he'd say to the people charged with DUI that night, Simms says their names weren't in the headlines for two weeks, as his was.
Simms disagrees with people who say he should resign.
He says he's known for years that he's got a drinking problem and that it has affected his family life, but never his judgment on the bench. He says he used to drink after hours, not during the work day.
He says the experience will actually make him a better and more compassionate judge.
Last week, the judge completed three weeks of inpatient rehabilitation at an Atlanta-area facility. He and his family now face several more months of counseling.