A federal lawsuit filed June 28 “is a case about a police officer, defendant Marc Lofton, who made a staggering number of arrests for DUI in a short period.”

The suit is “the first one,” attorney Zach Greenamyre said by email, that seeks to pin blame on Lofton, Police Chief Allan Johnston and the City of Statham.

The suit was filed in federal district court in Gainesville.

The suit charges violations of the First, Fourth and Fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution and to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Georgia state law.

It comes after two years of complaints about the city’s response to Lofton’s arrests.

A group of citizens has attended council meetings, posted innumerable social media comments and asked for official investigations by the district attorney and city council.

Lofton made 63 arrests for DUI in a 10-month period of 2015. Of those, 58 are “DUI-less safe” charges.

The lawsuit says the case is “about whether law enforcement can arrest, for driving under the influence (“DUI”), any person who takes commonly prescribed medicines for ailments such as depression, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder without regard to whether that person poses any appreciable threat to themselves or anyone else.”

The suit charges that Lofton made arrests “despite the officer having failed the coursework designed to familiarize officers with roadside impairment and never having received the more advanced training that would allow him to, perhaps, accurately determine whether a person is too impaired by substance to safely drive.”

The suit charges, as citizens have for two years, that Lofton made arrests based on “readily demonstrable falsehoods and fabricated evidence.”

See the full story in the Aug. 2 issue of the Barrow News-Journal.

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