Drunk Driver Defense Declared “Too Intoxicated to Consent”
Earlier this year, a Georgia Supreme Court ruled that drunk drivers would be able to get key evidence against them suppressed. How? By claiming that they were too intoxicated to consent to any field sobriety or blood alcohol content tests. Drivers across the state are proving to judges that they were not thinking clearly when they submitted to any one of the many tests that are used to determine intoxication.
Does it sound like a tricky legal maneuver? It’s not says attorney Mike Hawkins of The Hawkins Firm. What it is is a sound constitutional argument. “It certainly is a rule that’s going to impact every DUI case,” said Hawkins. Attorney Hawkins wants people to understand that a driver cannot give reasonable consent when he or she is impaired. “Think about consent in any context, it has to be knowing and intelligently given.”
How, attorneys including Hawkins wonder, can anyone who is deemed too impaired to drive be considered sober enough to provide consent for a legally-binding examination? According to Hawkins and others, they can’t. Hawkins points to the ‘Williams issue’ as an example. If it is not used, he says, it should be considered grounds for malpractice.
The case that Hawkins is referring to occurred in 2012 when John Williams was pulled over for a DUI. His attorney, Lance Tyler, took the case all the way to the state’s Supreme Court. In March, the court ruled that Williams may not have reasonably consented to a blood test, and that test was eventually suppressed as evidence in the case.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, you need an experienced, competent attorney by your side. Call our legal team today for a free case evaluation. Hawkins Spizman Fortas will work tirelessly to defend your rights in court as you answer to your charges. Call us today or browse our website for more information about how we can help you.