Judge Carlton Vines in Jail over the Weekend  

According to arrest reports from Friday April 11th, Chattooga County Sheriff’s department reported the arrest and incarceration of State Court Judge Carlton Vines.  Vines is serving a 3 day sentence in the Chattooga County Jail for a DUI offence.  The State Court Judge was arrested last November on drunk driving charges, the second offence for the elected official. In 2003, Vines pleaded No Contest to DUI charges and paid a fine. 

 The state Judicial Qualifications Commission suspended him from the bench and ordered him to seek medical help.  He later resigned but in 2006 was elected to the bench once again, defeating local Summerville attorney Sam Finster, who had been named by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to fill in his term.   In November of 2007 State Trooper Joseph Teet of the Georgia State Patrol post in Rome reported that State Judge Vines allegedly struck an older model pickup truck with his gold Ford Ranger early on a Saturday morning. A witness called 911, saying the vehicle struck the pickup and fled.

Trooper Teet reported that another witness called in the license plate number of the truck, which was identified as being owned by Vines.  Officials later confronted him at his Trion, Georgia home. Teet stated that after Vines refused a blood test, he was arrested and taken to the county jail, where he posted a $4,000 property bond.

Vines will no be allowed to leave his home for 30 days except to attend alchohol treatment.  Judge Vines is under a voluntary suspension and it is not clear if he will return to the bench. Currently Judge Jerry Westbrooks is filling in the position of State Court Judge in Chattooga County.