Gwinnett commission chairman arrested for DUI

ATLANTA — Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister was charged with DUI Monday, but he insists he will be “completely exonerated.”

Bannister was driving a county-owned car when he was arrested at about 8 p.m. on Monday by a Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputy. According to an AJC report, the deputy responded to a tip that Bannister had a number of beers at a Lilburn restaurant.

“I regret that this matter has occurred,” Bannister said in a statement. “I am making the results of the state-administered breath test results public which indicates that the machine was working properly and the test results were 0, which indicates no presence of alcohol in my system.

“I apologize to the residents of Gwinnett County, my colleagues, and my family for any embarrassment this has caused,” he added. “In the end, I am confident I will be completely exonerated.”

Banister vowed not to drive a county vehicle until the matter is resolved and has turned his keys over to Gwinnett County Administrator Glenn Stephens.

“Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister has voluntarily surrendered the key to his county-issued vehicle to me,” Stephens said in a statement. “I have directed that the car be returned to the Gwinnett County fleet until the matter has been resolved.”

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