Admission of DUI Breathalyzer Results
Lisa Kendrick was pulled over by the police for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) and was asked if an officer could perform a breathalyzer test. She was informed of her right to consent or not to the test, and she chose to allow it. The police, according to the evidence presented in Ms. Kendrick’s subsequent trial, showed that they did not use “fear, intimidation, threat of physical punishment, or lengthy detention” to compel her compliance. The test revealed that Ms. Kendrick’s blood-alcohol ratio was approximately two times the legal limit, and she was arrested for DUI.
During her trial in Georgia’s Cherokee State Court, Lisa Kendrick entered a Motion to Suppress the breathalyzer results, arguing that she was uninformed of her 4th Amendment rights to illegal searches and seizures. She felt that the language used in the implied consent notice that police officers are required to provide did not clarify those rights. The Court disagreed with her argument, prompting her to file for an appeal.
The Appeals Court examined the case and affirmed the trial court’s decision, denying the Motion to Suppress. The Court demonstrated that the implied consent notice offers several sanctions that can be used against a suspect and is used merely to inform rather than coerce. After hearing the notice, Lisa Kendrick gave an affirmative answer, did not change her answer, did not raise any objections to the breathalyzer, and the officer did not force her to comply. Her admission that she chose to take the test, fearing the loss of driving privilege, confirmed that she was capable of understanding and making a decision and further supported the Court’s decision.