Georgia Supreme Court Rules DUI Arrest Unlawful
Is an arrest for a DUI in Los Angeles valid if the arresting officer happens to be from San Francisco? If the California Supreme Court had the same reaction as the Supreme Court in Georgia, the accused DUI driver would go free.
According to 41 NBC in Macon, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled on June 20th that police officers in that state can’t make arrests outside of their jurisdictions. The case that prompted that decision involved the arrest of Bajrodin Silke for DUI by Officer Decari Mason, a Kennewa State University police officer who was POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training Council) certified.
Mason was on his way back to the University on May 5, 2013, but 10 miles off campus when he noticed Zilke was swerving in and out of his lane and driving without lights. He pulled Zilke over and noticed that the young man smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and was unsteady on his feet. Zilke, who said he had drunk two beers, blew into a breathalyzer which registered .08, which is just at the state limit for DUI. Mason charged him with two counts of DUI and operating a vehicle without lights.
Mason asked that the trial court suppress the BAC evidence, since Officer Mason wasn’t on University property when he made the arrest and did not have jurisdiction. The trial court agreed, but the Georgia Court of Appeals did not. Zilke appealed that reversal to the Georgia Supreme Court, which agreed that Officer Mason did not have jurisdiction.
According to WSAV 3, the attorney for the defendant said that the ruling will affect all police departments. But he also admitted that if officers see a potential crime or traffic violation within the boundaries of their jurisdictions, they do have the right to follow that person outside of the jurisdiction to make an arrest or write a citation.
Respond strategically to your arrest and charges by calling a former Senior Deputy D.A. and highly successful Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group today for a complimentary consultation.