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In Columbus, Georgia, a woman’s home is her castle … and so is the garage, says the Georgia Court of Appeals, holding that even though an off-duty cop/witness reported erratic driving and the arresting officer thought she was impaired, the 4th Amendment protected the garage as it would her home from unreasonable search and seizure by the officer. The Court focused on the fact that while the officer’s knowledge of erratic driving supported articulable suspicion for DUI, that fact alone did not give probable cause to arrest for DUI, and thus no basis to enter the suspect’s “home” without a warrant as there were no exigent circumstances to justify entry into the home. The officer also admitted the Woman never gave consent to enter the garage and he never asked. Under the 4th Amendment, even if officers have probable cause to investigate a crime, without a warrant, exigent circumstances (threat to life or property, e.g.), or proper consent, they may not enter the home or its curtilage (in this case, the garage). Accordingly, everything the officer later observed in the garage (unsteady gait, small pupils, and her car apparently had hit & damaged the wall) was all inadmissible evidence. Corey v. State, A12A2365. If you have been arrested for DUI in Columbus, Georgia, Call Columbus DUI Attorney Ted Morgan 706-317-5733.

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