Appointed DA’s DUI arrests big issue in primary

meetbradThe two candidates for district attorney of the Waycross judicial circuit both cite their experience, one’s decades longer than the other’s.

But experience as an issue in the May 20 Republican primary may have been pulled to the side of the road by the driving record of the appointed incumbent, Bradley Collins, who has publicly admitted to two DUI arrests.

While candidates strive for name recognition, Collins’ face is being circulated in the form of a mug shot from one of his arrests.

Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Bradley Collins, an assistant prosecutor who had been fired, to the position last summer after the retirement of long-time District Attorney Rick Currie. Until the appointment, George Barnhill, a prosecutor with 26 years’ experience in the office, had moved up from Currie’s chief assistant to acting district attorney. It was Barnhill who fired Collins, he says for repeated failures including coming to court unprepared. Collins contends it was because he decided to run against Barnhill.

Court records show that Collins received two DUIs, one on Oct. 17, 2004, in Sylvester and another on April 26, 2006, in Cook County. Breath analysis tests showed that Collins’ blood alcohol content was 0.206 percent in the first arrest and about 0.12 percent in the second. Under Georgia law, 0.08 percent is under the influence.

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