Can an Illegal Stop Lead to a Georgia DUI Charge?
By Ben Sessions on January 18th, 2024 in
Was it an illegal stop that led to a Georgia DUI charge? In this post, which I will try to update on an ongoing basis, I will provide recent Georgia DUI cases (or Georgia criminal cases more generally) addressing the sufficiency of evidence to a stop a vehicle. It is important to recognize that if a stop is found to be illegal, all evidence gained by the police thereafter will be suppressed. That means field sobriety tests, portable breath tests, and state-administered chemical tests performed following a stop that is found to be illegal will not be admissible in the trial of a DUI case.
Christian v. State
What a horrible case to begin this post with. Christian is epitome of Georgia DUI cases that literally bend over backwards to bring legitimacy to DUI cases that are of very questionable validity.
[T]he record reflects that at 8:26 a.m. on July 27, 2010, a law-enforcement officer with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office observed Christian’s pickup truck “gripping” the pavement while making a distinct scratching sound. The officer also noticed that the truck bore a Tennessee license plate, which, in light of the erratic driving, further raised his suspicions about the vehicle being in this particular subdivision that early in the morning. Accordingly, the officer relayed the tag information to dispatch and was informed that the tag returned as “not on file.” The officer then stopped the truck to investigate further.