Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Columbia County News

Kevin KirbyThe Kirby DUI Incident:
The process to the arraignment

The Observer has received many calls and has been asked many times what happens with a DUI. Here is the answer through the arraignment, which is scheduled for April 30th at 08:30 am in front of County Judge Tom Coleman.

Timeline of a DUI

Kevin Kirby, Columbia County's number two man was arrested for a DUI. The question has been asked, what happens next in the legal arena? The following timeline summarizes the steps along the way through arraignment.

The Arrest

The Police pull you over for minor or major traffic violation, or you crash: a tail light or headlight may not working, you may be speeding; you may be weaving all over the road, etc. Mr. Kirby crashed.

The Police will ask to see your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. You must show these things.

The Police will then run your license to ensure it is valid and check for bench warrants

The Police will ask you questions about where you have been, where you are going, and if the Police smell alcohol on you,  the police will ask whether you have been drinking, and how much. If you are the driver, you don't have to answer.

If the officer thinks you have been drinking or using drugs, he/she will ask you to step out of the car or vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. In the case of Mr. Kirby he was out of the vehicle. You do not need to do these tests. You don't have to.

The Police will ask you to blow into a portable breath test which is designed to measure the level of blood alcohol in your system. You don't have to "blow." Mr. Kirby refused.

If you refuse to blow the officer will arrest you on suspicion of DUI for drugs or alcohol. Mr. Kirby was arrested.

The officer will read you your Miranda Rights, put handcuffs on you, and put you in the back of the patrol car to take you back to the precinct, county police hdq. or the county jail. Mr. Kirby went to the County Jail.

Back at the Station or at the Jail

The arresting officer will take you back to the station or to the jail where you will be booked, have your mug shot taken, be fingerprinted, and locked up in a cell. It is unknown where Mr. Kirby went.

If you refuse to blow or take a blood test you will be guaranteed to lose your driver’s license for a year. 

You get a chance to call a lawyer or have someone call a lawyer for you.

You may be released on bond.

Pre arraignment Conferences between State's Attorney and Defendant's attorney.

This is where the two sides can make a deal on reduced charges. This is based on many issues.

 • Some State Attorneys don't like drunk drivers and if the state's case is strong, they don't deal.

 • Some defendants are connected and some State's Attorneys or prosecutors are more interested in their careers than justice. A deal gets made and the drunk gets a free pass.

 • In some cases there are genuine issues of fact and controversy in the evidence and the arrest and a deal is made, a plea is bargained in the name of justice.

 Arraignment Hearing

After being arrested for DUI, the court will set a date for the arraignment hearing. At arraignment, the judge will read the drunk-driving charges and ask for a plea. There are three options: guilty; not guilty; or no contest. 

To Be Continued...

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