Prosecutors said a Mexican diplomat charged with driving drunk could face jail time, despite having partial immunity.
Channel 2's Mike Petchenik went to Roswell city court Tuesday morning, where Mariano Saynez Ruiz Duran was supposed to answer to charges of drunken driving and speeding. The Mexican Navy admiral's son was charged during an April 20 traffic stop.
Duran’s attorney, Troy Hendrick, didn’t explain his client’s absence but said Duran should be in court next month.
"We're working towards a resolution. We hope to have that soon," Hendrick said.
Officers said they clocked Duran going 91 miles per hour on Georgia Highway 400. They said his blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit but couldn’t arrest him because he has partial diplomatic immunity as a vice consul for Mexico.
The case raised safety concerns throughout the community.
"We just want his case to be treated like every other citizen's case," Roswell Solicitor Krista Young told Petchenik.
She said despite his status, a city judge could give Duran jail time if convicted.
"The punitive elements are the same as they are for everyone else in the state of Georgia," he said.
Mothers against Drunk Driving Director Barry Martin, who attended the hearing, said he understands the need for diplomatic immunity but, "There is no case where driving fast and being drunk could be determined to be official Mexican business. It's not in the interest of the Mexican government, the American public or anyone who’s out on the roads when he is."