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Successful Motion to Suppress Results in Dismissed DUI Case

In a recent DUI case, Patrick McDonough of Andersen, Tate & Carr filed a Motion to Suppress on behalf of his client, resulting in a successful dismissal of the case being brought against the Defendant.

Last April, a 19-year-old driver was pulled over for a suspected DUI in Athens, Georgia.  An officer from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department noticed a vehicle parked outside a gated apartment building in the early hours of the morning.  The officer turned into the complex to investigate, and the vehicle subsequently pulled onto the roadway.  The officer observed the driver activating his turn signal three times without actually turning, and initiated a stop of the vehicle.

The driver explained that he was receiving directions from a passenger.  The officer detected the scent of alcohol on the driver’s breath and additional signs of intoxication.  The officer administered three field sobriety tests: HGN-Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, Walk-and-Turn, and One-Leg Stand.  The driver failed all three tests.

The officer read the driver the implied consent test request, and he agreed to submit to a breath test.  The driver tested positive for alcohol and blew .111 on the state-administered Intoxilyzer at the police station machine, which is more than five times over the legal limit of .02 for an individual under the age of 21.  The driver was charged with DUI (O.C.G.A. 40-6-391), underage consumption of alcohol (GA code 3-3-23), and driving in violation of the class of his Class D license (GA code 40-5-24).

The driver retained Patrick McDonough as his Counsel, and McDonough filed a Motion to Suppress, advising that the only issue was whether there was reasonable articulable suspicion authorizing the stop of the Defendant’s vehicle.  Citing several cases, including State v. Goodman, 220 Ga. App. 169 (1996); State v. Jones, 214 Ga. App. 593 (1994); and Bowers v. State, 221 Ga. App. 886 (1996), McDonough framed the question: “Whether a vehicle that was temporarily parked at the exit of an apartment complex proceeds to drive, and while doing so, signals its intention to turn without turning, gives sufficient reason to conduct an investigatory stop, even though these actions do not themselves constitute a traffic offense.”  The Court answered the question in the negative, and therefore granted the Motion to Suppress all evidence that was found as a result of the illegal stop.

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Patrick McDonough and Trinity Hundredmark at Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C. have combined experience of more than 30 years representing clients facing DUI offenses.

For more information or to request a case evaluation, call our law office at (770) 822-0900. We have been very successful at reaching the best possible outcome for our clients, and our attorneys are here to help you through this difficult and stressful time.

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