Drunk drivers are a serious issue on the highways of Georgia, particularly around the holidays. In November, a state official was charged with a moonshine DUI charge.

A report on WSB-TV stated Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Walter Rabon Jr. was placed on administrative leave.

He faces two separate investigations after police said he drove intoxicated near Monticello in November with more than a dozen jars of moonshine in his car.

Media reports said he crashed his Corvette in Jasper County. Sheriff Donnie Pope told the media, Rabon faces charges of DUI and failure to maintain lane.

A report from a Georgia State trooper claimed Rabon’s eyes were bloodshot and watery. He said he could smell alcohol on the official’s breath. The police report stated Rabon said he only had only consumed two drinks. However, the trooper said he blew .146 – well over the legal DUI limit. Troopers stated Rabon told them he swerved to avoid a deer.

Official faces moonshine DUI charge

State official faces moonshine DUI charge

The trooper said in the report he found nine jars of moonshine in Rabon’s car. Five more were broken in the crash.

The DUI arrest is being investigated by The Department of Revenue and the DNR.

Drunk driving is one of the most significant killers on the highways of Georgia. A report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found 3,699 people were killed in crashes linked to drunk driving in the state from 2003 to 2012.

Georgia’s rate of deaths linked to drunk driving is 5.8 per 100,000, a figure below the national average of 6.7.

In Georgia, motorists with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher are considered alcohol-impaired by law.  About one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver.

A recent report in Buckhead Patch suggested services like Uber and Lyft are making inroads into the state’s drunk driving problem.

In the Atlanta area, DUIs fell by 32 percent over last five years until 2016, according to a statement released by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Uber.

Every year, serious DUI crashes cause serious injuries. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a drunk driver, please call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.