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Tunali v. State, A11A1158, Georgia Court of Appeals, from Troup County State Court

In Tunali v State, an appeal from the denial of a motion to suppress in the Troup County State Court, Tunali raised two issues. First, the Court could not take judicial notice of Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) rules allowing a stop of Tunali’s vehicle,  a Ford F-250 pick-up truck displaying a hazardous material placard.  The Court of Appeals found that since the DPS rules were adopted via the Administrative Procedure Act the Troup County Trial Court in LaGrange Georgia could take judicial notice of them.  Second, Tunali argued that the alcosensor test was not admissible against him as registering positive for alcohol because his Georgia Implied Consent Rights were not read to Tunali.

The Court of Appeals held that since the alcosensor only registered the presence of alcohol and not a numerical result then no implied consent rights were necessary for Driving a Commercial Vehicle with a detectable presence of alcohol. Three questions about this appeal? How is a Ford F-250 pick-up truck a commercial vehicle? Is it the hazardous material placard?  The Court of Appeals suspiciously did not address the issue of whether this stop violated the 4th Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. And finally, the alcosensor is only approved as a “preliminary” breath testing device and the only device authorized under O.C.G.A. 40-6-392 for the chemical analysis of breath under the Rules published by the GBI is the Intoxilyzer 5000?

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