Georgia DUI Cases of Note

  

Dawson County DUI: taking person arrested for DUI 45 minutes to personal doctor for independent test not reasonable.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ritter v. State, A10A1492, Dawson County DUI, Independent DUI test, Intox 5000 Calibration Certificates (September 16, 2010):

William Ritter was convicted by a Dawson County Jury of DUI in Dawsonville, Georgia. Ritter contends that his request for an independent blood test at his personal doctor's office in Alpharetta was not reasonably accommodated. The Georgia Court of Appeals disagreed.  The Georgia Court of Appeals found that the factors to be considered in whether a request for an independent test are reasonably accommodated are (1) availability of or access to funds or resources to pay for the requested test (2) a protracted delay in the giving of the test if the officer complies with the request; (3) availability of police time and other resources; (4) location of the requested facilities; and (5) opportunity and ability of the accused to make arrangements personally for the testing.  The Dawsonville trial court found that the request would have taken the DUI officer out of his jurisdiction, his police department was short staffed and the officer offered closer alternative facilities. Finally, the Georgia of Appeals applied the rule from the U.S. Supreme Court in Melendez-Diaz and found that Intox 5000 calibration certificates are not prohibited documents kept in the regular course of business when the course of business is production of evidence for trial.  The Georgia Court of Appeals held that since the records are not produced for a single defendant they do not fall in the definition of regularly conducted business of the production of evidence for trial.  



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