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Rolland v. State: Intoxilyzer 5000 – Judicial Comment – Appointment of Experts

In Rolland v. State, A13A0081, April 30, 2013, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the Athens Georgia jury’s finding of Guilty as to a DUI per se and DUI less safe.  Defendant Rolland had argued that the Judge had improperly commented on the evidence in violation of OCGA 17-8-57 by discussing the history of the use of the Intoxilyzer 5000 in Georgia and fact that the Intoxilyzer 8000 is not authorized to be used in Georgia when the facts were not in evidence.

The Court of Appeals rejected the argument reasoning that because counsel agreed with what the trial court said it was not an error.  Further, the Court of Appeals found that the Trial Court could comment on the evidence as long as the Court was steering Defense counsel away from irrelevant material. Finally, the Court of Appeals rejected the argument that the Court erred by not appointing Defendant an expert on the Intoxilyzer 5000 because Defendant did not identify an expert by name and qualifications and show that the refusal to appoint an expert had prejudiced him as the matters to be covered by the expert where covered in cross-examination.