School Board Refuses to Rehire Former Teacher Arrested for DUI

By Topher

A former middle school teacher was unable to convince the Murray County school board in Chatsworth, Ga. to renew her contract this week in light of a recent DUI charge.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Jennifer Zeigler addressed the school board in tears, telling them how much she loved the school and her students. She admitted that she had no excuse for her behavior, but insisted that she deserved a second chance.

Zeigler made these claims during a fair dismissal hearing that was held after school Superintendent Vickie Reed did not recommend that the former teacher’s contract be renewed.

The seven members of the board listened to nearly four hours of testimony before they deliberated over their verdict for close to another hour. When the board returned, they voted unanimously to uphold the superintendent’s decision.

In her own testimony, Reed claimed that Zeigler had lost the respect of students, parents and co-workers, in addition to violating the Georgia Code of Ethics.

Ziegler, on the other hand, argued that she had undergone treatment and should be rehired.

Sgt. Todd Pasley, the police officer responsible for Zeigler’s March 16th DUI arrest, also testified at the hearing.

Pasley claimed he clocked Zeigler driving 28 mph over the speed limit and that, before he could pull her over, she hit a truck stopped at a red light and nearly ran into another vehicle.

The police car camera that recorded the incident shows Zeigler stumbling around the parking lot as she insists she had not been drinking.

When blood samples were taken, Zeigler showed a blood alcohol content level of 0.31, nearly four times the 0.08 legal limit in Georgia. She pleaded no contest when charged with DUI in May, at which time she was sentenced to an alcohol treatment program and 12 months probation.

Zeigler apparently admitted in her testimony that she realized she was an alcoholic. She also stressed that she never gone to school or any school functions while under the influence.

The school’s attorney, Stanley Hawkins, accused Zeigler of not being truthful during her testimony and argued that her problems could not be fixed in one summer.

Zeigler has the option to appeal the board’s decision to the Georgia state school board. Her attorney told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that they have not decided if they will do so.



Arizona Wildcats’ Basketball Player Daniel Dillon Arrested on Suspicion of Tucson DUI

By Mary Ann

Tucson police revealed yesterday that University of Arizona reserve guard Daniel Dillon was arrested on suspicion of DUI last weekend.

Police reports said that Dillon was pulled over early Sunday morning by an officer who noticed a speeding car. The report added that the officer conducted a DUI investigation in which Dillon denied having anything to drink.

After undergoing field sobriety tests, Dillon was cited and arrested on suspicion of speeding, DUI and DUI with a blood alcohol content above the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent. The report did not reveal what Dillon’s BAC was.

Dillon, a junior guard from Melbourne, Australia, will turn 21 on March 19th. Arizona Men’s Basketball Coach Lute Olsen was reviewing the situation with authorities and did not offer any comment.

Arizona athletic department spokesman Tom Duddleston said that Dillon did practice with the team Tuesday and was expected to travel to New Orleans for its first round game Friday against Purdue in the NCAA Tournament. Dillon has averaged 1.9 points and 11 minutes in 29 games for the Wildcats this season.



“Driving” Under the Influence?

By Mary Ann

More than one question has been posed about what constitutes “driving” under DUI law. The answer, of course, is that it varies from state to state.

However, the one thing that is clear and consistent is that you can’t count on “driving” meaning what we typically think of as driving. That is to say, “driving” doesn’t necessarily mean steering a car that’s moving down the road under its own power.

For instance, in at least one state, steering a car in tow has been held to be “driving” for purposes of a DUI conviction.

Many states consider a person “in control of” a motor vehicle if the person is sitting in the driver’s seat and the car is running–or even, in some states, if the keys are in the ignition and the car isn’t running.

In fact, there’s been at least one case in which the “driver” was convicted of a DUI committed while his keys were in his pocket.

There are too many variations in statutory language and in the interpretations of various courts to attempt to advance any kind of blanket definition.

The bottom line is that “driving” doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it does, and it’s best to find out how it’s defined in your state before it becomes an issue–or a criminal conviction.