Updated 11:06 a.m., Aug. 4, 2011
Nick Masino, an executive with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and a former mayor of Suwanee, was booked into the Gwinnett Detention Center on Wednesday shortly after 10 p.m. on charges that include Driving Under the Influence.
Masino, of a Yosemite Court address in Suwanee, was released on bond just before midnight Wednesday, jail records show. His vehicle initially was spotted swerving on I-85 South near the Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road exit by an off-duty Suwanee Police officer, who radioed dispatch, police records show.
Masino could not be reached for comment Thursday. Jim Maran, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber, was in a meeting Thursday and unavailable for comment, chamber officials said.
The arrest was made at the Zaxby's on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road at Smithtown Road after Masino's vehicle turned in there. The vehicle also failed to maintain lanes properly on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, police records show.
The arresting officer "noticed a strong odor of alcoholic beverages" coming from the vehicle, records show. Masino "stumbled over his words" and told the officer that he had "one drink." The officer noticed that Masino's eyes were "bloodshot." Masino told officers that he had consumed alcohol at a restaurant near the Mall of Georgia
Masino initially agreed to a field sobriety evaluation, but before it was complete, he summoned Sgt. Nick Jacobs, who was not the arresting officer, over to talk. Masino then said he had "done enough testing" and wanted to go home.
Officers on the scene then placed Masino in handcuffs and transported him to the detention center, believing he was unsafe to drive home. He confirmed to officers that he was texting while driving, records show. He would not consent to a breath test.
Masino also told officers that he "would lose his job," records show.
Charges also include "safe operation with phone" and improper lane change/failure to maintain lane, according to jail records.
Masino is Vice President for Economic Development for the Gwinnett Chamber. He was mayor of Suwanee from 2000-07.
Patch will have updates.
(This information was obtained from the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department and the Suwanee Police Department. It does not indicate a conviction. For questions about this blotter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)