Savannah State Band Director arrested for DUI, obstruction

Crime & Safety
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A faculty member at Savannah State University was two weekends ago for driving under the influence along with other charges.

Records show Marques Graham, Director of Bands, was arrested early in the morning on Sunday, April 14, for DUI, speeding, open container, expired license and obstruction.

According to an incident report, Graham was initially pulled over on I-516 for speeding when a Georgia State Patrol Trooper noticed a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage.”

The responding trooper said Graham’s speech seemed slurred and his eyes were “bloodshot and watery.” According to the trooper, when asked if he had consumed alcohol, Graham said “no,” and “became agitated” that the trooper was asking about it.

Graham at first refused to get out of his vehicle and denied a field sobriety test, according to the incident report.

“Due to the totality of the circumstances, I determined that Mr. Graham was under the influence
of alcohol to the extent that he was less safe to drive,” the trooper reported. “I attempted to place him under arrest and he refused to comply.”

Meanwhile, another trooper and a Savannah Police officer arrived on the scene to assist. The two troopers had to “grab” and “forcefully pull” Graham’s arms to place him in handcuffs, according to the report. 

“Mr. Graham pulled away and tried to turn around during the process,” the trooper stated. “After a few moments, we were able to apply the handcuffs and placed in the rear passenger’s seat area of my patrol vehicle.”

The trooper then searched Graham’s vehicle and found “a red plastic cup with an alcoholic beverage” in the driver’s side cup holder. He also had an expired license.

Graham was taken to Chatham County Jail.

Records show that this was not the band director’s first time being arrested for a DUI. In 2017, he was arrested by Savannah Police for DUI, open container violation and passing stationary authorized emergency vehicles.

News 3 has reached out to Savannah State for comment.

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