Diplomatic immunity keeps Mexican official out of jail
North Buckhead Driving and DUI School
Had he been anyone else, Mariano Saynez-Ruiz-Duran would have been arrested last Friday morning and taken to jail, Roswell police say.
The 39-year-old Alpharetta resident was pulled over by officers who clocked him allegedly going 91 mph on Ga. 400.
He failed most field sobriety tests, couldn’t keep his balance and, before registering a blood alcohol level of 0.126 on a breath test — well above the legal limit of .08 — urinated in his pants, according to a police report.
But because he is a vice consular with the Mexican Consulate in Atlanta, Saynez-Ruiz-Duran was able to avoid jail, though he still faces DUI and speeding charges.
The incident concerned advocates of sober driving.
“Public safety is at stake, and [his case] should be treated like any other DUI case,” said Barry Martin, director of the Georgia chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Roswell police spokeswoman Lisa Holland said officers would have arrested Saynez-Ruiz-Duran but were advised by the Diplomatic Security Service that the man could not be detained. But because he has only partial diplomatic immunity, he could be issued the misdemeanor citations.
The diplomat, the son of a Mexican Navy admiral, told police he had “two to three vodkas” roughly 30 minutes prior at the Tongue and Groove, a nightclub in Buckhead, according to the incident report.
Martin, noting a 20 percent recidivism rate among drunk drivers, said he hopes the vice consular “remains in the system, so if this happens again maybe the police will have some leverage.”
The Mexican consulate had no comment on the incident.
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