It is with sadness that we confirm that ASA George Cholakis was arrested
( F07-0001 ) for DUI serious bodily injury on New Year's Eve. The Herald web site has a copy of the two page arrest report.
Mr. Cholakis is alleged to have driven a motor vehicle that struck and injured
two individuals who were on a scooter.
Mr. Cholakis is alleged have refused roadside field sobriety tests and a request that he provide breath and blood samples.
There are some posts in the comments section that gloat over this arrest.
Those feelings are misplaced.
Lawyers like Mr. Cholakis who spend a good deal of their career as prosecutors are dedicated public servants who have chosen a career without regard to financial remuneration. We may not appreciate the hard line someone like Mr. Cholakis may have taken in the past with a client we have represented, but as citizens of this county, we appreciate his dedication to making our city safer.
Real professionals can separate their personal and professional feelings.
We are however troubled by the allegation that Mr. Cholakis refused roadside sobriety exercises and that he refused to provide a breath test and a blood test.
The quick advice given out by DUI lawyers at cocktail parties is to refuse testing if you believe you are impaired. However, the real issue here, at least as it applies to the breath and blood tests, is that every citizen who accepts the privilege to drive in Florida gives implied consent to have their breath, blood, or urine tested if an officer believes they are impaired.
While we fully support the presumption that Mr. Cholakis is innocent until proven otherwise, we remain troubled by his failure, both as a prosecutor, a lawyer who is an officer of the court, and a citizen of the State Of Florida, to live up to his end of this agreement.
Of course, many people are alleged to have refused to provide a breath sample, only to have the truth reveal otherwise. We hope this is the case here. Certainly, not everything (many times hardly anything) an officer writes in an arrest report has anything to do with the true facts of the case.
However, regardless of how the case turns out-even if Mr. Cholakis is acquitted or even if a prosecutor declines to file charges based on the evidence- we would be troubled if it turns out he did refuse a lawful request to test his breath or blood.
Not a great way to start off the new year.
See You In Court.