DUI, Probable Cause. Brown v. State, A10A0526, February 10, 2010. The Court of Appeals the Newton County Trial Court’s denial of a motion to suppress after a Covington jury found him guilty of DUI after a trial. The Court of Appeals found that on July 15, 2006, L. Brown was observed driving down the road by a Newton County Sheriff’s Deputy with a radio that could be heard 3/4 of a mile away.
(Really?) He was stopped by the Deputy who observed an odor of alcohol, blood-shot glassy eyes, Brown rolled out of his car when asked to exit, was uneasy about himself, stumbled and almost fell. The Deputy discovered a small bag of marijuana during a weapons search. (That is an illegal search as police are only entitled to remove items which could reasonably be weapons like a knife or a gun). The officer gave no field tests for DUI like the HGN (eye jerking) test, one leg stand or nine step walk and turn). A state administered breath test on the Intoxilyzer 5000 revealed a .151 and .153. The Court of Appeals held that there was probable cause of DUI even without evidence of less safe driving and DUI field test as he was unsteady, had difficultly getting out of his car, and almost fell. These facts take the case outside of the rulings of cases like Handley v. State and Ellison v. State as there is more than evidence of the mere presence of alcohol but also evidence of impairment.