Recently, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a monumental opinion regarding breath tests under Georgia DUI law: unlike the US Constitution, the Georgia Constitution sees such actions as self-incriminating. Now, they stopped short of ruling the “implied consent” law as coercive and upheld the guy’s conviction; HOWEVER, the Court instructed trial courts to look at the totality of circumstances to determine coercion (i.e., was the officer’s actions over the top? Did you feel required to blow? etc.). If the court finds coercion, the test will be tossed absent some warrantless search exception. Another score for liberty!!
It’s Friday, folks! And that means it’s time to kick off the weekend in just a few hours. Time for Happy Hour and time with friends and family. Time to unwind and maybe kick a couple back. But what if 2 becomes 3 or 4 or 15? The easiest way to not get busted for a DUI is simple – plan ahead. And the purpose of this post is to show that there are options other than the standard “have a DD” like the old days (although I must admit that whenever I am the DD, I have a lot of fun watching my friends). You could plan an uber for example and that’s a helluva lot cheaper than a cab. No DD and no money for uber? No worries! Several police departments that are community partners, like Canton Police, will give you a ride home for free. So, plan ahead, have a blast and HAPPY FRIDAY, everyone!
What do you call modern day hacks who insist they can tell what drug a person has ingested just by looking at him? A DRE (drug recognition evaluator) is someone law enforcement may call to help aid them in determining whether or not you are DUI. They are “specially trained” to look for drugs, but here’s the reality – they base their decisions on pseudo-science and are not qualified to testify as experts at trial. So, it goes like this, you get pulled over and blow a 0.0 and do ok on the field sobriety tests. All good, right? No. If the officer calls in his buddy, the DRE, the DRE will poke his voodoo doll, determine you to be under the influence of drugs and you will be arrested. Then, they’ll likely pull your blood and take you to jail. Then, a lot of times, the blood work comes back with nothing in your system so the case is reduced to a traffic violation or whatever and that’s it in the State’s eyes. Wait…That’s it?!? What do you mean that’s it? You just went through a battery of tests under stressful conditions, probably had a cop lecture you on the way to the jail or forestation, had your blood drawn, got put in handcuffs, spent a day or two traumatized and treated like a piece of meat in jail, paid for a bond, had to go through the horror of upcoming court dates, likely got your license suspended, all for them to say, “Oops. Guess the DRE was wrong. It’s a $150 fine and that’s it.” They are the equivalent of K9 handlers tipping off their dogs, which happens quite often as well. And it’s not right. Don’t trust these kinds of unreasonable searches and seizures under any circumstances. And don’t go it alone.