- Chief Judge Is Privately Reprimanded re DUI Arrest That Led to Reckless Driving Conviction
Chief Judge Is Privately Reprimanded re DUI Arrest That Led to Reckless Driving Conviction
Posted Mar 29, 2012 3:40 PM CST
By Martha Neil
A South Georgia judge has been issued a private reprimand concerning a May 2011 incident in which he was charged in the town of Leslie with driving under the influence, having an open container and speeding at 63 mph in a 45-mph zone.
Chief Judge Rucker Smith of the Southwestern Judicial Circuit refused a field sobriety test and eventually pleaded guilty to reckless driving, a lesser charge, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
He self-reported the incident to the Judicial Qualifications Commission and apologized.
In a written opinion, the commission explained that it crafted a penalty that "attempted to balance its responsibility to the public to insure an honorable and independent judiciary with its responsibility to deal fairly with a judge who complied with all requests of the commission and accepted responsibility for his actions."