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Nick Estes

Canton City Councilman Nick Estes is scheduled for arraignment on Thursday in Cherokee County State Court on a charge of driving under the influence.

Estes faces both the DUI charge and a charge of failure to maintain lane after he was arrested just after 1 a.m. May 14 by Canton police. He was booked into the Cherokee County jail and bonded out the same day for $1,560.

According to police and court records, a Canton police officer pulled Estes over as he drove along Reinhardt College Parkway for failure to maintain his car in the travel lane.

In a motion to suppress evidence, filed in Cherokee County State Court on May 30, Estes’ attorney alleges that field sobriety tests were given without notifying Estes that they were voluntary, and the arresting officer lacked probable cause to investigate beyond the initial failure to maintain lane allegation.

Estes, 40, was stopped by a Canton Police officer at Riverstone Plaza, who reported he saw the 2015 Tesla “swerve within its lane and from side to side,” according to a police report. The officer reports that Estes initially said he had not drank any alcohol, but after agreeing to and taking evaluations, he said he had one, and later said two drinks. Estes had a reported breath alcohol content of 0.119. The legal limit in Georgia is .08. A blood sample has been submitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for testing.

Estes’ DUI court arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the Cherokee County Justice Center, 90 North St. in Canton.

John Connolly, the attorney representing Estes, said Tuesday that his client maintains his innocence.

“We acknowledge that Mr. Estes was stopped by Canton Police Department May 14, 2019. He cooperated with police, and the city officers were professional and courteous to him. Mr. Estes was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, however, although Mr. Estes gave a blood sample to the appropriate authorities. There are no results back from the blood test. so at this time there’s no blood alcohol content result to establish impaired driving by Mr. Estes,” Connolly said. “As is his right, Mr. Estes maintains his innocence as all Americans are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Nonetheless, Mr. Estes has notified the mayor and city officials. We are confident that once all the evidence is known, these charges will be favorably resolved.”

“The city of Canton is aware of the arrest of Mr. Estes on May 14, 2019. At that time, the chief of police contacted the city manager and per the city charter, the city manager made the mayor aware of the situation. As this case is in the judicial process, the city will have no further comment,” Canton City Manager Billy Peppers said in a statement.

Estes was elected to the city council in 2017. He is part-owner of Stout’s Growlers, a store that sells craft beers and also wine on North Street downtown.

Shannon is a reporter covering education, city governments, crime, features, religion and other local news. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and currently lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

(1) comment

bart

Oh look, a politician breaking the law, believing to be above it, and less than 24 hours, challenging the law and using his money and influence. Nice.

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