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Strickland v. State, A09A0988, pretrial bond conditions not double jeopardy

The Georgia Court of Appeals held in Strickland v. State, A09A0988 that pretrial bond conditions set by a Gwinnett County DUI Judge in Lawrenceville, Georgia do not violate the double jeopardy provisions of the United States and Georgia Constitution.

The Gwinnett County DUI defendant had been arrested for her 3rd DUI with a blood-alcohol level of .326.  The DUI Court set bond conditions for her release pending trial as follows: limited driving privileges driving to the hospital for substance abuse treatment, driving to school, driving to court, only operating a vehicle with a breath testing device attached or an interlock device which turns the car off if the driver shows positive for the presence of alcohol, and submit to a DUI Court evaluation.  The Georgia Court of Appeals held that this was not punishment but reasonable related to the public’s safety.

It is hard to imagine how anything other than driving could endanger the public by the release of the Defendant still presumed innocent.  The limitation of driving is reasonable, but the DUI Court evaluation is just as punishment and not reasonably related to public safety.  I suspect that the trend in the future is that more and more DUI arrestees will be required to begin AA meetings, Drug and alcohol evaluations, be required to abstain from alcohol consumption by all manner of devices before trial just to stay out of jail.  This opinion is a step in that direction and it is a slippery slope.