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For GA LEO's,Implied Concent declared unconstitutional

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  • For GA LEO's,Implied Concent declared unconstitutional

    I just read in an Atlanta paper that said the Supreme Court ruled that an officer cannot read Implied Consent at a traffic accident without having "PC" first. The court ruled that it violates search and seizure laws to take "blood,breath,urine,or other bodily substances" without probable cause. I mean,give me a f*****g break. Someone gets into an accident,that seriously injures or kills someone,and you don't think I have enough probable cause to do a blood kit. That is pure bulls**t. That just proves once again that there is no justice in the justice system.
    If you stare into the abyss long enough,sometimes it stares back.

  • #2
    Supreme Court tosses Georgia's implied consent law
    AccessNorthGA ^ | 10/6/03 | staff





    ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously overturned the state's implied consent law Monday, which required motorists involved in serious accidents to submit to drug testing or face the loss of driving privileges for a year.

    In the Barrow County case, the court ruled that the statute is unconstitutional because it -- quote -- ``authorizes a search and seizure without probable cause.''

    The law had stipulated that any motorist involved in an accident resulting in serious injury or death was assumed to have given prior consent to a chemical test to determine the presence or alcohol or other drugs in his body.

    Refusing the test made motorists subject to a suspension of their license for a minimum of a one year. Evidence that they refused to be tested could also be offered against them at trial.

    In overturning the law, the Supreme Court says there is NO dispute that the state must guard its citizens from the perils caused by intoxicated drivers. But it says the primary purpose of the implied consent statute is -- quote -- ``to gather evidence for criminal prosecution.''

    In an opinion written by Justice P- Harris Hines, the court held -- quote -- ``No matter how important that purpose may be, it does not create a special need to depart from the Fourth Amendment's requirement of probable cause.''

    The challenge arose from a challenge by Carey Don Cooper, who was involved in a two-vehicle collision in Barrow County in August 2000. Cooper agreed to a blood test after being informed of the implied consent law by a state trooper.

    The trial judge rejected his motion to suppress results of the drug test. The appeal followed.
    "I neither approve or blame. I merely relate."- Voltaire

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    • #3
      Personally I agree with the decision. The mere fact that someone was involved in an injury or fatal traffic collision doesn't offer probable cause to suspect DUI.
      Retired

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      • #4
        An accident IS enough to show impairment. There are always contributing factors in an accident. We all know that you can nail a DUI Alcohol from a mile away. Drugs are a different story. Some people under the influence of narcotics are damn near impossible to tell w/o doing a blood kit. Now if I roll up on a wreck where someone is hollering they're hurt cause they want some money later on,no I won't do a kit. But if there is a bad accident that shows a driver had no regard for other drivers on the road,little flags go off. Makes me want to know whats in their system.
        If you stare into the abyss long enough,sometimes it stares back.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by J.DIXON
          An accident IS enough to show impairment. There are always contributing factors in an accident. We all know that you can nail a DUI Alcohol from a mile away. Drugs are a different story. Some people under the influence of narcotics are damn near impossible to tell w/o doing a blood kit. Now if I roll up on a wreck where someone is hollering they're hurt cause they want some money later on,no I won't do a kit. But if there is a bad accident that shows a driver had no regard for other drivers on the road,little flags go off. Makes me want to know whats in their system.
          I respectfully disagree with you that a traffic collision by itself meets the legal definition of impairment. There are thousands of traffic collisions everyday that aren't a result of impairment. My opinion is that the court was correct in its ruling.

          IMPAIRMENT - When a person's faculties are diminished so that his or her ability to see, hear, walk, talk and judge distances is below the normal level as set by the state. Typically, impairment is caused by drug or alcohol use, but can also be caused by mental illness. Even if a person's alcohol level is lower than the legal intoxication level, he can still be convicted if the state can show his abilities were impaired.
          Retired

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          • #6
            In the UK we can require a screening breath test from any motorist involved in an accident. Refusal or failure to supply the specimen is an offence, though in this case we can only arrest if we have evidence of impairment.


            Lobster.

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            • #7
              In Tennessee, the possession of a DL 'implies' that you 'consent' to a blood test on demand of an LEO if arrested for a DUI/DWI violation or are involved in an accident.
              "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
              -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

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              • #8
                Ditto in Texas. In fact this last legislative session a new law passed that allows us to get a manditory blood withdrawl if a person in involved in a traffic accident and someone suffered severe bodily injury. Used to be just if someone was killed or probably would die. I mean the suspected drunk driver has no choice, we will get a blood sample.
                Trust me I'm with the government.

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                • #9
                  It seems like a lot of other states have the same provision that we HAD. So either we are all wrong or the SC made a bad call. Shooter1201 also brought up a good point. Having a DL is a privelige,not a right. In most states,mine included,when you sign for your DL,you are agreeing to Implied Consent Laws and everything surrounding them. So why is it wrong to enforce those same laws?
                  If you stare into the abyss long enough,sometimes it stares back.

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                  • #10
                    J.DIXON Two quick questions.
                    In your State is the drivers license revocation program a civil matter or a criminal matter? Can you subpeona the drivers records if they were hospitalized and use the results in a criminal case?
                    Trust me I'm with the government.

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                    • #11
                      Loco:Revocation is a criminal matter (in most cases) and yes you can subpoena records.
                      If you stare into the abyss long enough,sometimes it stares back.

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                      • #12
                        The system in Texas is different. A suspention or revocation is handled is a seperate court and is a civil matter. If you refuse to provide a breath sample the court cans your license. Works great and the standard is by a proponderence of the evidence.
                        Trust me I'm with the government.

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                        • #13
                          Loco:Thinking about it,I may have told you wrong. On certain offenses,upon conviction your license is automatically suspended or revoked. However we do have ALS (Administrative License Suspension) hearings that are done in another court so that may be a civil side of it. I've never had to go to a ALS hearing so I'm kinda unsue about what they actually do over there. Maybe some of the other GA guys can help me out here?
                          If you stare into the abyss long enough,sometimes it stares back.

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                          • #14
                            ................................
                            Last edited by ; 02-27-2005, 02:04 AM.

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                            • #15
                              No one is saying they have probable cause to make an arrest. When you get to a accident scene and someone just T-boned another car and the Officer see's 10 empty beer cans laying around and smells alcohol on the drivers breath the Officer then has reasonable suspicion to believe an offense has occured. The Officer needs some tool here to do an investigation because the evidence (alcohol in the system) is being destroyed. Implied consent means your drivers license is a privalage not a constitutional right and part of that privilage is that you will agree to submit a sample of your breath or blood. Then if the alcohol content of your blood is above the legal limit for your State, Probable Cause exist for the arrest.
                              Trust me I'm with the government.

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