Elena was arrested for Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) with .02 grams or more under 21 years of age – 40-6-391(k)(1); Underage possession of alcohol – 7-3-24(b); and Speeding – 40-6-181 by the Richmond Hill Police Department. The police officer claimed that he “detected an odor consistent with that of an intoxicating beverage,” coming from Elena. The police officer wrote in his arrest report that he asked Elena if she had been drinking, and she said she had consumed a “little bit” of alcohol. The cop asked where it was, and she said in the trunk. The cop opened the trunk and found a bottle of Jose Cuervo Tequila Silver, a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka Green Apple, a bottle of Malibu Red, a bottle of Stella Artois Cider, and a bottle of Firestone Vineyard. The officer asked Elena to do a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) on the street. She did and the PBT result showed the presence of alcohol. The officer then arrested Elena and read her the Implied Consent Rights. Later, she gave two breath tests at the police station and the results were .099 and .094.
The biggest problem with this DUI arrest was that the officer failed to do any of the three field sobriety tests before he arrested my client. The field sobriety tests should have been done first. And then if he wanted to confirm the results of his field sobriety tests he may do a preliminary breath test (PBT). According to the DUI Field Sobriety Training Manual, “Many experienced DUI officers rely on the PBT less as their confidence in DUI Detection increases.”
In the Bryan County Municipal Court of Richmond Hill, Georgia Elena plead guilty to Reckless Driving. The Speeding charge was merged, and so was the Underage posssession of alcohol.