'Intoxicated' DeKalb Commissioner eludes DUI arrest

8:11 PM, Jul 25, 2012   |    comments
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DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson (DeKalb Community Service Board)

DECATUR, Ga. -- DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson was visibly drunk and drove his car away from a Decatur lounge earlier this month, according to a police report.

Yet, police who watched him do so did not charge him with DUI. DeKalb PD is now conducting an internal affairs investigation into the conduct of the officers who allowed Watson to leave without checking him for DUI.

According to a police report obtained by 11Alive News, an off-duty DeKalb County officer working at the Tanqueray Lounge at 4019 Glenwood Road said Watson became unruly after accusing a woman of stealing his wallet.

"I informed Mr. Watson, who is a DeKalb County commissioner, to please behave like a public official," Officer O.B. Parker wrote.

Parker says he "also advised him to have someone take him home because he appeared intoxicated," and that "he was in no condition to drive."

Nonetheless, the report says Watson got in his car and drove off.

By then, the report said Officer Parker had contacted a supervisor to respond to the scene. Moments later, according to the report, Watson returned to the parking lot, got out of his car and said "I am going to let someone take me home."

The officer concluded his narrative by saying, "Due to circumstances beyond my control, Mr. Watson was allowed to have someone take him home and leave his vehicle parked in the parking lot of the club."

DeKalb Police Chief William O'Brien said an internal affairs investigation has begun, looking into whether or not the officers involved should have allowed Watson to leave the scene.

"I would certainly expect that if any professional law enforcement officer saw somebody under the influence of alcohol or drugs getting behind the wheel of a car, that they would take action," O'Brien said Wednesday.

O'Brien said Watson was driven home by a bystander and not a police officer. O'Brien said two police supervisors had intervened before the conclusion of the incident. He said it was unclear who decided to release Watson without checking him for DUI.

Watson did not respond to requests for comment.

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