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Police: Man Drunk at DUI Sentencing, Flees and Drives Drunk During Chase

A Decatur man has been arrested after allegedly showing up for court drunk and fleeing from the courthouse in his truck.

A Decatur man has been arrested after allegedly showing up for court drunk and fleeing from the courthouse. Credit: Screenshot from WSB TV
A Decatur man has been arrested after allegedly showing up for court drunk and fleeing from the courthouse. Credit: Screenshot from WSB TV

A Decatur man showed up for his DUI sentencing in Fulton County drunk Tuesday morning, police say, then fled the courtroom and led officers on a chase while driving while intoxicated.

James Earl Johnson, 44, had just been sentenced to 60 days in jail for failing to pay fines for a DUI conviction when he fled the courtroom, hopped in his truck and was pursued by police, reports WSB TV.

Officers caught up with Johnson in the parking lot of an office park off New Boyd Road in Suwanee. Police said they had to use a taser to subdue Johnson because he was fighting with officers. 

During the pursuit, police said Johnson also drove at an officer, so he will face additional aggravated assault charges.

City Solicitor Bill Riley told WSB that Johnson failed to pay more than $2,000 in fines from a previous DUI conviction and the judge decided to sentence him to 63 days in jail.

“He was non-compliant in his probation and I guess his acts were consistent with his acts as a probationer also,” Riley said.

A witness in court Tuesday said Johnson argued with his parole officer as well as with the district attorney during his hearing.

After the sentence, the witness said Johnson at first sat calmly, then walked out of the courtroom. It wasn’t until a bailiff ran out of the room that the witness realized Johnson had bolted.

David Weaver April 14, 2014 at 09:11 AM
JERRY S. The breath test starter interlock system doesn't really do anu good. I have a sister in law that had one on her car. When she was driving while under the influence she just made her young daughter blow into the devise and " WALA!"
Jim Giglio May 01, 2014 at 10:37 AM
The only way to get this guy off the road (and KEEP him off) is to confiscate and DESTROY his car. This is EXACTLY what we do with an armed robber's gun. Also, the armed robber can't legally buy a replacement. AND to do full justice to the drunk, he should be made to watch as his precious car goes into the crusher. jimgiglio81@gmail.com Wheaton MD (raised on Metropolitan AV)

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