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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Dale Cardwell’s DUI case dropped by DeKalb County

Dale Cardwell. CREDIT: file photo, 2010. Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Dale Cardwell. CREDIT: file photo, 2010. Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

The DeKalb County solicitor’s office today dropped a 2010 DUI case against former TV reporter Dale Cardwell. Cardwell agreed to a reduced charge of texting while driving and will tape a public service announcement about the topic.

On June 3, 2010, Cardwell was pulled over just after midnight at the intersection of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Motor Drive, Doraville police spokesman Officer Gene Callaway told the AJC at the time.

“What caught the officer’s eye, is (Cardwell) sat through a green light,” Callaway said. Cardwell took the field sobriety test but was arrested when he refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test, police said.

He was held in the Doraville jail and released on $1,210 bond, Callaway said.

Cardwell, in a phone interview today, declined to comment but emailed a lengthy statement:

“I’m happy to report the resolution of my case.  Today, I accepted responsibility for operating my vehicle in an unsafe manner due to texting while driving.  On the rainy evening of June 3rd, 2010, I approached a very dim green light while driving northbound on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.  Because I am colorblind, I perceived the light as being yellow, not green and came to a stop.  As I slowed my vehicle, I began reading a text on my phone from my wife.  I started to return it, when I saw a car pass me to my right.  That’s when I realized I was indeed stopped and texting at a green light.

“Today, the DeKalb Solicitor agreed to drop the charge against me if I agreed to accept responsibility for the act I’ve described.  Furthermore, I have agreed to write and produce a :30 second public service announcement detailing my firsthand account of learning the dangers of texting while driving.

“I want to thank the Doraville Police Department, the DeKalb Solicitors’ office, Judge Alan Harvey and my attorneys Tex McIver and Steve Maples for reaching this very responsible conclusion.”

Cardwell’s attorney Tex McIver said he was ready with ten witnesses who could vouch that Cardwell had not consumed excessive amounts of beer earlier that evening. Cardwell, McIver said, refused to take the Breathalyzer test because he wanted to take a more accurate test at a hospital. The cops, McIver said, misunderstood and took Cardwell to jail thinking he didn’t want to take any test.  Video of the arrest was not available either, which weakened the prosecution’s case, he added.

Cardwell, who worked as a reporter at Channel 2 Action News from1996 through 2007, currently operates a website www.trustdale.com in which he provides recommendations about Atlanta businesses.  He also ran for U.S. Senate in 2008, coming in third in the Democratic primary behind Vernon Jones and eventual nominee Jim Martin.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

95 comments Add your comment

Rancid Meat

February 16th, 2011
3:14 pm

8 months to figure out they did not have enough evidence to convict? Shame on you, Doraville PD!

Mike Wickson

February 16th, 2011
3:25 pm

The Doraville cops and their quarter-mile feifdom on 285 never fail to amuse me.

Whatever

February 16th, 2011
3:26 pm

Shows if you’ve got contacts you can get out of anything.

Ten witnesses to say he didn’t drink excessively? One beer can put some people over .08. Excessive is relative and those witnesses wouldn’t have aided his case.

He refused the breatholizer because he wanted to take one at the hospital? Funny how he didn’t explain that to the cops at the time.

Cardwell got away with it. Hopefully he doesn’t kill someone next time.

John Foster

February 16th, 2011
3:26 pm

Why does he have to do a PSA on the dangers of texting & driving? He wasn’t driving! He was stopped! After reviewing the law that the governor signed I can’t really go with the idea that it’s illegal to look at your phone while stopped at a traffic light and in GA the jury is always right!

Whatever

February 16th, 2011
3:27 pm

Rancid and Mike, you guys are fools if you think he got off because he didn’t do it.

Sammy

February 16th, 2011
3:28 pm

John Foster – he wasn’t stopped at a traffic light. Did you not read the story? The light was green – that was the danger, someone behind him could have hit him because the fool was stopped in the road during a green light texting.

You have no clue.

John Foster

February 16th, 2011
3:30 pm

Sammy – You didn’t read the story. He stopped at the light because he thought it was yellow.

“Because I am colorblind, I perceived the light as being yellow, not green and came to a stop. As I slowed my vehicle, I began reading a text on my phone from my wife. I started to return it, when I saw a car pass me to my right. That’s when I realized I was indeed stopped and texting at a green light.”

So again, I ask why does he have to do a PSA on the dangers of texting and driving?

seemore's mom

February 16th, 2011
3:31 pm

Wait til next time when he runs someone over while he is drunk. Maybe then he will get some real time!

Daren B

February 16th, 2011
3:38 pm

yes, shame on the doraville PD. Anyone else would have been convicted of DUI. what strings were pulled to get this done. no video either – come on!! Money can get you out of anything

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The Ox

February 16th, 2011
3:50 pm

Hey Dale, will you add your lawyer to the TrustDale website?

deegee

February 16th, 2011
3:55 pm

HAHAHAHA! I wonder what that text he received at midnight from his wife said?

USMC DAWG

February 16th, 2011
3:56 pm

If he’s so colorblind as not not be able to distingush yellow from green, he shold not be driving to begin with. And sure as hell not at night and in the rain. Way to have your lawyer/optometrist write your apology Dale. Moron…

Pdentgrou

February 16th, 2011
3:57 pm

What a crcck! He is not colorblind. He was drunk. Why else would he pass on a breathalyzer test? And to take a texting and driving charge? The judicial system in the US will forever be crooked as long as one has connections and money to get out of anything.

TMA

February 16th, 2011
4:03 pm

@ John Foster – Doesn’t matter that he was stopped at a light. He is still behind the wheel of an automobile with the engine running. That constitutes driving. Even reading a text message is a violation of Georgia’s texting law. I suggest you read the law:

Senate Bill 360 is the Caleb Sorohan Act and prohibits individuals from using wireless telecommunications devices for writing, sending or receiving text messages while operating a motor vehicle.

Specifically the law states:

“No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, electronic mail, or Internet data.”

If he had been sitting in a parking lot reading his text messages, he would not have been in violation.

Adam Vance

February 16th, 2011
4:08 pm

Tex McIver Rocks!!!!

ronny

February 16th, 2011
4:11 pm

I trust Dale can get out of anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tim

February 16th, 2011
4:16 pm

GEE Thanks for the info….now I’ll claim I was texting and then can do a public service announcement as my “punishment”

I call BS

February 16th, 2011
4:21 pm

BS Dale, just BS. You lucked out this time, hope you don’t kill somebody next time you drive drunk….

grady baby

February 16th, 2011
4:27 pm

That’s our good ole justice system! Just for some, not for all!!

Don't Look Behind That Cirtain

February 16th, 2011
4:32 pm

pffff—everyone looks at porn, drinks too much at times and has nasty sex once in while—so who cares

LeglEgl

February 16th, 2011
4:34 pm

C’mon Dale – you have totally dismantled your credibility and that of your “sponsors”. You can’t seriously expect anyone to now believe that your endorsement of those on your website are legitimately unencumbered by some type of influence. You are NOT Consumer Reports. You are a paid LACKEY !!

You’d be better off moving to some obscure town in North Dakota and do the traffic report. Nobody is going to take you seriously anymore, and I predict that your website will wilt and die.

Zack

February 16th, 2011
4:39 pm

Lost all respect for the man now. Trust Dale? Think not. If he is colorblind then he should not drive, of course the yellow light is in the middle of the red and the green, I guess he could see the color since he first said it was a dim green light. How the heck do you see a dim green light if you are color blind. Dale is no dummy ke knows the system and he knew that if he made a plea bargain they would lessen the charge. Happens every day on the courts. Trust Dale, I see a dim green light, wonder what color it is since I am colorblind???

James

February 16th, 2011
4:46 pm

As usual, if you are “white” its “alright”

The Media is a JOKE

February 16th, 2011
4:53 pm

Uh, who is this “Dale”. Oh, a TV “personality”???? Great, Did he do the weather in Peoria? Who cares about him? But, reading the story above makes any reasosnable person think that the WHOLE THING SMELLS really badly.

As Bob Dylan wrote many years ago: “…justice is a game…”

COLORblind

February 16th, 2011
4:56 pm

ARE YOU SERIOUS?????? Freakin’ colorblind. Come on….I am laughing so hard, my stomach hurts. What an absolute JOKE and crime at the same time.

Another case of “justice” gone bad. He didn’t get away with murder, but close enough.

GaDawg

February 16th, 2011
4:56 pm

You people need to get a life! It appears that the DPD did not have a case. In the state of GA you have the right to not take a breathalyzer test and you will be arrested on the spot. You have the right to have a blood test done at a hospital, you do not have to incriminate yourself. To insinuate that he paid witness off is just a joke. It is also illegal! Cut the man some slack.

Colorblindness affects those who have it differently. Obviously, some of you guys have sour grapes because you were caught and had a bad lawyer.

President Camacho

February 16th, 2011
4:56 pm

Everything is fishy here except the request for a blood or breath test besides the field breathalyzer. Those things are highly inaccurate. Happened to my father once. When he got the real BAC reading from the table top machine, it registered 0.01. Had he submitted to the road side test……Who knows.

Holden Magroyne

February 16th, 2011
4:57 pm

I dont trust Dale and when I hear his commercials I change the channel. I just hope he doesnt kill someone the next time he drinks errr texts and drives.

lerned to reed

February 16th, 2011
4:58 pm

bet hees gladd he diddnot spit on tha green, thatud been nother fine for him….ask that tigger feller…..

President Camacho

February 16th, 2011
4:58 pm

Oh….And his colorblindness….Does that affect his spatial cognition which prevents him from seeing the middle light…..The one that has ALWAYS been yellow…..It;s not it was changed just before he was arrested.

GaDawg

February 16th, 2011
4:58 pm

@ James – Always have to bring the race card into it!

Special Deals

February 16th, 2011
5:00 pm

Special deals for celebrities in sports, politics and media—nice to be connected! Regular people—would have gotten the full force of the law.

joe

February 16th, 2011
5:03 pm

“very dim green light”…you’d have to be almost drunk not to see a traffic light of any color at nighttime. Dale got off alright…

VPR

February 16th, 2011
5:03 pm

It seems to me, that if the Doraville Police Department had enough evidence to convict, they would have pushed this all the way through. This was already a high profile a case in the news, and the department would be embarrassed if they did not get a conviction. They tried to establish a case, and failed.

The ghost of Russ Minshew

February 16th, 2011
5:09 pm

At the very least, Dale owes his lawyer a beer.

shagnasty

February 16th, 2011
5:10 pm

What was the arrest date again? I tink it coincided with gay pride…

Robert

February 16th, 2011
5:13 pm

This guy Dale gives me the creeps. He is so goody two shoes, at least he presents himself that way. Big Christian that really wanted to get in to politics, where he could do his creepy thing. Trust Dale? No way.

thomas

February 16th, 2011
5:15 pm

Next they will be giving trespassing charges out to child molestors. Trespassing the childs clothes. WTF has come to this world……………………. Do the crime damn do the time. Instead some goof ball looking reporter gets off because of he can put together a 30 second commerical on do not drink and drive.

Trust ME-I am on TV!

February 16th, 2011
5:17 pm

Come on people, you can trust me. I have been on TV. I had a wide fake grim. I belong to the church. You still don’t believe me? I will sit on top of a water tower until you do!

Dubious

February 16th, 2011
5:20 pm

What a crock! Did he mean to say “I am color blind and was drunk at the green light so I decided not to do a breath test?”

Dale Carldwell = Liar

Luke

February 16th, 2011
5:22 pm

What you all are failing to remember is that if he is color blind, that means that he doesnt see what color is what, BUT what he SHOULD see is that when he looks at the traffic light, the YELLOW AND GREEN are in TWO DIFFERENT canisters. So if you cant make out yellow, you would still know if its yellow because of the BRIGHT LIGHT BEING ON. For anyone making a case against this stupidity, you are just as bad as he was. The man was drunk and got off because money talks and friendships help you walk. Good ol boy system at its best.

OtisTheDrunk

February 16th, 2011
5:46 pm

“C’mon..can’t a man go out to the Oasis strip club and “relax” for awhile in peace?” :)

The Doraville cops “own” that bit of Peachtree Industrial near Tilly Mill in front of the Oasis too. Be careful driving anywhere in Doraville..at any time of day!

I'm just sayin'...

February 16th, 2011
6:09 pm

President Camacho makes the best argument of all. Only ONE light is illuminated at a time. We learned in grade school that red is on top, yellow is in the center, and green is on the bottom. If that hasn’t been learned by now…

Dale should NOT be TRUSTED on the road. Imagine him thinking that the line of traffic is in the twilight zone sitting at a red light that he believes is actually green… So he decides to use the center lane and drive straight on through. Mercy!

Linda

February 16th, 2011
6:23 pm

What a loser with an extremely bad voice.

l3link

February 16th, 2011
6:43 pm

wish i had money then i could drive drunk u must take the officers test b4 you are allowed a blood test we are not ignorant just say it he has money and he knew someone dang why lie about it

Sly Slick & Wicked

February 16th, 2011
6:50 pm

Universal chart for the color blind…..light lit on top…..it’s red…..light lit in center……it’s yellow…..light lit on bottom……it’s green!

Dale might have some hope as a politician after all!

Highlander

February 16th, 2011
6:54 pm

Common color-blindness is not the inability to differentiate all colors. Usually, it is the inability to distinguish a certain spectrum in the color palette (like reds or blues). But you also have to remember that the light color spectrum and the normal color palette (as in paint, dyes) are different.

All that being said, Dale wants us to believe that someone who thought he was smart enough to run for office doesn’t know what order traffic lights have been arranged in since the beginning of time!

Yeah, ,,,right!!! :wink:

No No

February 16th, 2011
7:04 pm

Trust Dale? Uh…..no.

Jerry Johnson

February 16th, 2011
7:09 pm

This guy is a joke. He gets out of a DUI that none of us would have. Since he lost his bid for the Senate office he starts up his “TRUST DALE” web site. He says he investigates all the companies then puts his seal of approval on them. You gota love the fact that the ones that pay him are the ones we can trust. People actually fall for this crap.