Edison v. State, A14A0208, Court of Appeals of Georgia, May 29, 2014. Lise Edison was convicted after a Fulton County Bench Trial of DUI less safe drugs after a bench trial. Edison was observed on July 20, 2008, weaving on the freeway and almost hitting another car. Edison looked sleepy and had droopy eyes and admitted to drinking alcohol earlier in the day and taking a sleeping pill 30 minutes earlier. Edison submitted to DUI Standardized Field Sobriety evaluations and was arrested for DUI and read implied consent rights. She agreed to a breath and blood test. After completing the breath and blood test, the Officer told Eidson that he would not take her to jail and book her in but release her on a copy of charges or tickets if she submitted to a series of Drug Recognition Expert evaluations. Eidson claimed that the offer not to take to jail made the DRE evaluations not inadmissible as being obtained as a result of an offer of hope of benefit under OCGA 24-3-50 (which provides “[t]o make a confession admissible, it must have been made voluntarily, without being induced by another by the slightest hope of benefit or remotest fear of injury”). The Court of Appeals held that because the Officer only offered to take her home and not to jail which is a collateral benefit as opposed to not charging her with a DUI which would be a material benefit. Further, the Court held that hope of benefit does not apply to not testimonials and not communitive like blood tests and field sobriety tests.
-Author: George Creal