Milledgeville Councilman Joiner Admits Drinking

7:15 PM, Jan 13, 2011   |    comments
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A Milledgeville city council member today admitted violating his probation by drinking.

34-year-old Phillip Joiner appeared in Baldwin County Superior Court on a charge of violating his probation.

He was arrested last Monday after testing positive for alcohol on Dec. 29, Sheriff Bill Massee said. He said that's a violation of Joiner's probation for two DUI arrests.

Today, Joiner admitted under oath that he did drink alcohol before the test.

"It came over a birthday, a holiday, a new year. And all those dates, I didn't want to miss them. I didn't want to miss family," says Joiner.

That's after his attorney filed two separate motions last week saying the test was incorrect.

"Without his admission, which hadn't been made until today, I think it was a defensible case," says his attorney, Holly De Rosa Hogue.

Joiner was arrested last Monday, but he told the judge he was admitted to a detox center two days later.

"I've probably learned more in one week than I have in any class, any courtroom, about anything," he says.

"I think that he has made some serious changes in his life, and he chose to go back to treatment for his own reasons," says Hogue.

Joiner admitted to the judge that he has a problem and he wants to get help.

"The thought of beer tastes like handcuffs, the thought of tastes like a jail cell, and the thought of a glass of wine tastes like, well, probation," says Joiner.

He was released to his family today, but must return to the detox center by 4 p.m. Friday.

Hogue says after he finishes the detox program, Joiner has to finish his probation period, which has about ten months left.

Joiner was not granted his pre-trial status in court today, which means that his violations will not be cleared from his record.

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