Citizens in Georgia who have racked up tickets due to DUI have found the most unique way to beat the charge.
Defense attorneys have opted to state that their clients were too drunk to even consent to a sobriety test. 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).
“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.
Who would've thought getting wasted behind the wheel is a safer bet in the eyes of the law? Personally I think we are better off hopping in a cab.