Motion hearing set in Ater DUI case

Published 9:51 am Friday, June 11, 2010

CHESAPEAKE — A hearing on a motion filed in the DUI case of a candidate running for a county office this fall has been set in Lawrence County Municipal Court.

The motion was filed seeking to suppress evidence in the case against Jonathan Ater of Proctorville. Ater was arrested May 3 for allegedly driving a Kubota tractor under the influence on State Route 243 in Union Township.

Ater is running in the November general election for Lawrence County Auditor on the Independent party ticket.

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“It is a typical motion to suppress,” Ater’s attorney William Eachus of Gallipolis, said. “(We want to) suppress the tests that he took and the circumstances surrounding the arrest.”

Sheriff’s deputies Daren Hamlin and Jason Newman investigated the incident. Newman reported at the time that Ater’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot and that he had slurred speech.

“I noticed an open container of Miller Lite was in view on the tractor,” Newman said.

He also said Ater refused field sobriety tests unless they were audio and videotaped. He later agreed to take the tests, which he failed.

Two empty beer cans and a cooler with unopened cans of beer were allegedly confiscated from the tractor.

Ater was arrested and charged with DUI, having an open container and driving left of center.

At the time of the arrest Ater said the incident was “politically motivated” and vowed to fight the charges in court.

The motion hearing has been set for Sept. 10 at 12 p.m. before Lawrence County Municipal Judge Donald R. Capper.