Falcons' Michael Turner Unlikely to be Convicted, Says Lawyer

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Atlanta Falcons superstar Michael Turner was pulled for drunk driving. But DUI lawyer Steven Kellis says the evidence may not support a conviction.

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There are rules for consistency, but sober people can fail them. Any defense lawyer would move to have the field test thrown out of the case.

Leading DUI attorney Steven Kellis says that Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner is likely to walk away from his drunk driving arrest with no conviction – which could affect his ability to keep playing.

Turner, who scored his record-setting 51st touchdown in Monday's win against the Denver Broncos, was pulled over around 5 a.m. the following morning, according to police. The arresting officer had clocked him going 97 mph on Highway 85 near Atlanta, where the speed limit is 65. A spokesman for the Gwinnett County police says the officer smelled alcohol and conducted a field sobriety test that led to the arrest reported the Washington Post. But Kellis believes this may not be substantial evidence.

“It's unclear what else may have happened, without access to the police report,” Kellis said, “But the police haven't mentioned a breath or blood test at any point. Convicting a driver on a field test alone is uncommon, because those tests are riddled with errors.”

Kellis, who has practiced criminal law for twenty years and focuses his practice on drunk driving, says field tests are frequently thrown out as evidence.

“A field sobriety test comes down to the officer's opinion,” Kellis said. “There are rules for consistency, but sober people can fail them. Any defense lawyer would move to have the field test thrown out of the case.”

The strength of the county's case could be decisive in whether Turner is able to continue playing for the NFL. Falcons coach Mike Smith stated, “This is a legal matter, and it's very well-defined how we have to proceed with it through the league, and we'll let this process run its course.”

“If [Turner] is acquitted of the DUI charge, the NFL may not have any sanctions for him,” said Kellis. “I'd advise him, or anyone arrested for drunk driving, to get a lawyer immediately.”

About Steven Kellis:

Steven E. Kellis has successfully defended numerous clients accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. He served as Assistant Solicitor General for Atlanta, Georgia and has focused his private practice on DUI cases. The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis can be contacted at 215-940-1200.

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