Alpharetta city councilman accused of DUI with child in car

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By: Darryl Carver, FOX 5 reporter
Posted: Feb 25, 2013 4:21 PM EST
Updated: Feb 26, 2013 5:20 AM EST

An Alpharetta city councilman is charged with driving drunk with a child in his vehicle.

Michael Cross was arrested on Saturday after a witness called police to report a car weaving through traffic with a child in the back seat, according to a police report.

“The Ford veered off the road a few times and then corrected back but over-corrected a few times,” said the witness, Andrew Alexander.

Alexander said that he watched Cross’ vehicle have trouble staying in its lane for several miles.

“He accelerated up to a red light and stopped really fast, as well as he almost turned the wrong way onto 400, jumped the median to get back in the right lane and turned on 400 south and that’s when I called 911,” Alexander said.

Cross was eventually stopped by an Alpharetta officer and arrested on a DUI charge. Police reports say the councilman’s 7-year-old son was in a booster seat in the back.

In the police report, the arresting officer says he noticed the smell of alcohol on Cross’ breath and when he asked him about it, the councilman allegedly said he had only one beer a couple of hours earlier.

The arresting officer said that Cross declined to do a field sobriety test because he allegedly said that the officer didn’t have probable cause to pull him over.

“He was initially stopped for what the police officer perceived as an improper lane change. Mr. Cross exercised his right not to participate in voluntary evaluations,” said Michael Penn, Cross’ defense attorney.

Penn said that his client insists the officer made a mistake and that Cross was not drunk behind the wheel.

“As a representative of the citizens of Alpharetta, he apologizes for being placed in this situation and he’s hopeful that this matter will be resolved as quickly as possible and with as little distraction as possible,” said Penn.

The councilman’s lawyer insists the entire affair is a misunderstanding.

“I know that he would never do anything that would put the life of his child in danger, or any other child or anybody else on the road for that matter,” Penn said.

Michael Cross was only recently elected to a seat on Alpharetta’s city council. He sat mostly silent and made no comment of the charges during a council meeting on Monday night.

An Alpharetta city attorney told FOX 5’s George Franco that the city has a code of conduct, which requires a conviction before any action is taken against Cross.

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