ATLANTA -- An Atlanta police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence when he hit a Greyhound bus in the HOV lane of I-85 while driving the wrong way on the highway last April.
Christopher Niezurawski, 36, was sentenced on Tuesday to 12 months, with 10 days of that in jail, and the remainder of that on probation, along with a fine of $800 plus court costs. He also was sentenced to serve 80 hours of community service, the suspension of his drivers license, and participation in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving impact panel and an alcohol evaluation and treatment as recommended.
He is still employed by the Atlanta Police force.
During his probationary time frame, Niezurawski will not be allowed to consume any alcohol, and will have to undergo random alcohol testing.
"We are very pleased to see justice served in this case that unfortunately involved a police officer," Solicitor-General Sherry Boston said. "There is no excuse for anyone to be driving while impaired, and it is especially disturbing that an officer would risk the lives of everyone else who was on the road that morning. It is truly a miracle that no one was killed or seriously injured in the crash. We hope this serves as a reminder to everyone to not drink and drive."
The crash itself happened at about 4:30 a.m. on April 26 on I-85 near Pleasantdale Road. Investigators said Niezurawski began driving northbound on the southbound lanes of I-85 at the Lenox Road-Cheshire Bridge Road exit in the city before his accident on I-85 just outside of I-285.
Police said he appeared to be unsteady on his feet, had trouble answering questions and smelled of alcohol. He was transported to the hospital, where he was charged with DUI.