Councilwoman accused of DUI to fight charges

by: Tom Regan Updated:

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ATLANTA - Lawyers for Atlanta City Council member Cleta Winslow said she was not driving drunk when she was arrested by Atlanta police late Tuesday night.

"She admitted she was drinking and driving. That is not against the law in Georgia. It is only against the law if you are an impaired driver; we are asserting she was not an impaired driver," said attorney Jackie Patterson.

Police said the councilwoman was driving on the wrong side of the road and ran a stop sign before an officer stopped her car.

The police report stated Winslow appeared to be impaired. She admitted to consuming two martinis, but declined to take any sobriety tests.

"No one can force you to take field sobriety tests, walk the line, or even a breath or blood test. She chose to exercise her constitutional right. That doesn't mean you're guilty," said Patterson.

Winslow's attorney said she planned to attend a news conference to discuss her arrest but could not leave a prolonged City Council budget meeting.

She was first elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1993 and serves the fourth district, which includes the West End.

Several constituents in the West End expressed support for their councilwoman.

"Everybody has a little mark on their record. If you're going through this life perfect, then you should be up in the sky somewhere," said Andre Batiste.

Winslow's next court appearance is scheduled for June 11.



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