Congressional candidate convicted of DUI

Steven Foster, the Democratic candidate for Georgia's 14th Congressional District seat, speaks to the Murray County Democratic Party in this file photo.

Steven Foster, the Democratic candidate for Georgia's 14th Congressional District seat, was found guilty of DUI this week and sits in the Whitfield County jail awaiting sentencing.

Foster, of Dalton, is running against Republican incumbent Tom Graves of Ranger. Foster was arrested for DUI, a misdemeanor, by the Dalton Police Department on Sept. 23, 2017. Sentencing before Judge Cindy Morris is set for Tuesday.

The clerk of court's office said Foster was found guilty by a jury after 15 minutes of deliberation. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Baxter was the prosecutor and Richard Murray was Foster's attorney. Murray did not immediately return a phone message left for him late Wednesday afternoon.

Foster, a former military physician and surgeon, had sought to represent himself and entered a motion in limine on July 19 seeking to have his charges, which included a headlights violation, dismissed.

In the motion, Foster said he was stopped on Walnut Avenue by Dalton officers for a headlight violation. Foster said he left a restaurant after a late dinner and "failed to turn on the headlights" and was stopped by the officers. He acknowledged that he had "two drinks over a period of three hours while eating dinner."

He was asked if he would take a breathalyzer, according to the motion, and "expressed his reluctance as field instruments are notoriously inaccurate and requested to have a blood test for alcohol performed at the hospital in order that an independent assessment, as mandated by law, could be obtained as well as the state's own blood sample."

He said he was "again encouraged" to take a breathalyzer and the officer reported the first three readings "inconclusive." The fourth reading "reportedly showed an alcohol level above the legal limit, although defendant was not permitted to see and read the display." He protested and again "asserted his right to an independent blood test, as well as blood drawn for the state's ample to be sent for analysis."

At the hospital, he asked for additional tubes of blood to be drawn "for independent analysis," the motion states, and the officers declined.

After citing what Foster called case law, he "requested an independent blood test as is guaranteed by statute," the motion states. "It is clear that there was no good faith intention on the part of the officers to permit such a test being administered. ... As a consequence of these violations of statutory right, defendant hereby moves for the court to dismiss this case."

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