If you’re facing DUI charges in the state of Georgia you might be able to get those charges dropped under the claim that you were TOO DRUNK. How can a drunk person earnestly give ‘consent’ to a voluntary sobriety test if they are too drunk to understand what the officer is asking them to do? That’s the argument defense attorneys all across the state of Georgia are presenting judges, and judges are reconsidering DUI charges and tossing out evidence in cases where the driver was too drunk to give consent. This all stems from a ruling by the Supreme Court of Georgia earlier this year with regards to ‘consent’, and it has completely changed the game for police officers administering sobriety tests (breath, urine, blood).

I think it’s reasonable to assume that this ruling in Georgia will soon be leaking out to other states, so if you don’t live in Georgia (or have never even been there) don’t worry, methinks this precedent will make it to your state before too long.

AJC.com reports:

“It certainly is a ruling that’s going to impact every DUI case,” said defense attorney Mike Hawkins, who doesn’t see it as a trick, but a sound constitutional argument.
“Think about consent in any context, it has to be knowing and intelligently given,” said Hawkins, which he argues a driver cannot do when they’re intoxicated.
“If a DUI defense lawyer is not raising the ‘Williams issue’ I frankly think it’s malpractice,” said Hawkins.
If it sounds ridiculous for a defense attorney to argue that their client was so intoxicated they were unable to make a sound legal decision about consenting to a DUI test, it’s equally strange to hear a prosecutor argue that the driver wasn’t that drunk.
“You would think that that’s absurd, right?” said Gwinnett County Solicitor Rosanna Szabo, who’s office has been the most impacted, mainly due to Iannazzone’s interpretation of the Williams ruling.

Defense attorneys liken the legal standard to a person’s ability to void a contract they signed while intoxicated. Judges also refuse to accept a guilty plea from a defendant if they’re under the influence at the time.

I really don’t know what to make of this. From a legal standpoint this is amazing. It’s a clear case of the law applying equally across the board, and not being nitpicked apart to serve prosecutors and defenders whenever it’s convenient. But the flip side of this is if a cop knows someone is drunk that person should be charged for driving while drunk, and I guess they still are, but it seems a little pointless to toss out evidence when it’s clear the person was too intoxicated to be driving. Either way, it’s all quite fascinating.

The write up over on AJC.com has some pretty interesting cases of where this has been applied. One is of a 20-year-old who was legally too young to drink, but his BAC level was below the legal limit for people 21-and-up. Another case is of a person who’s English wasn’t good enough to understand the instructions given from the officer, because the big point here is the officer needs to make it clear that the sobriety tests are VOLUNTARY. Anyways, if you’re interested in reading more about this,head on over to AJC.com.

P.s., if a cop ever asks you to perform a field sobriety test on the side of the highway this is always your best course of action:

It’s important to note that this is a RECENT ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court so many of the arguments filed are still pending, and it is the evidence being thrown out, not the cases. And for those of you wondering which DUI conviction has been tossed out here’s a News 11 video discussing that (keep in mind the entire ruling is consent, and in this case consent applies to the legality of roadblocks).


Drunk Drivers Are Getting Out Of DUI’s By The Most Ridiculous Legal Loophole In The History Of America

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