Bibb Sheriff Jerry Modena says Bibb Superior Court Judge Howard Simms will face no charges related to a traffic stop late last month.
Simms was stopped at 9:30 p.m. during a road check September 22 on Lamar Road in west Bibb County.
Modena said Simms' red Ford F150 pickup was stopped by a Douglas County deputy, who then smelled alcohol coming from the vehicle.
The deputy turned the matter over to a local officer, which is the usual procedure for those road checks, Modena said.
After the judge presented his license and identified himself, the sheriff said, the deputy called in Bibb deputies to take over.
Although Simms' breathalyzer results were higher than the normal standard for driving under the influence, Modena said the judge "insisted that he was not impaired."
He said the officers saw no alcohol visible in the vehicle.
"There was no slurred speech, no bloodshot eyes, and Simms appeared the same as he always did," said Modena.
The judge told the officers that he insisted on driving home, that he would not allow anyone else to drive his pickup and that there was nobody at home who could come pick him up.
Two Bibb deputies allowed Simms to drive home after he got 0.082 on a breathalyzer test at the road check. One of them followed Simms the five miles to his home.
In a statement, Modena said his officers showed poor judgment by letting Simms drive home and did not follow procedures by failing to give him a roadside sobriety test after the breathalyzer.
Modena says their biggest mistake was failing to write an incident report, which is required by law.
"I don't like it because we made a mistake," says Modena. "And these sheriff's deputies down here, they're better than this, and we've had a long talk about it, but that's what's come back and that's why the case probably will not go to trial. From what the solicitor says, there's hearsay, you can't prosecute on hearsay. We've looked to see if we can find any new evidence in it, and we can't."
Both officers received suspensions, written reprimands, probation, and a mandatory course on professional ethics for their behavior.
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