In 2018, Chairman Pitts was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by another motorist. The driver in that crash faced a total of nine different charges, from driving with a suspended license to reckless conduct. The most serious of those charges was Driving Under the Influence – the driver’s sixth DUI. Since the crash with Chairman Pitts, the defendant was charged with a seventh DUI.
At a hearing on Monday – more than two years after the accident – the State Court judge recused himself, further delaying sentencing, due to his status as a Fulton County Judge in a case with the Fulton County Chairman as a victim. The Chairman says he understands the Judge’s decision but is still frustrated by the delay.
“Thousands of Fulton County residents experience the same kind of delays I went through this week,” said Chairman Pitts, who has been vocal in calling for greater efficiency in the justice system. “Every court case has an impact on people, time and money. These lengthy processes affect thousands of lives. I think we can do better.”
Though the Judge in Chairman Pitts’ case urged the defendant not to drink and drive during this delay, the driver is not in custody and legally has a drivers’ license.
“After seven DUIs, an eighth seems almost inevitable,” said Chairman Pitts. “If and when that occurs, we have to ask ourselves who would bear the responsibility if this driver were to injure or even kill someone. Would it be the manufacturer of the alcoholic beverage? Or the automobile manufacturer? Or someone else? ”