Georgia v. TurnquestAnnotate this Case
In March 2017, defendant Stephen Turnquest was involved in a single-vehicle accident. The responding officer arrested Turnquest for DUI. After arresting Turnquest and before asking him to submit to a breath test, the officer read the age-appropriate Georgia implied consent notice pursuant to OCGA 40-5-67.1 (b) (2) but did not give Miranda warnings. Turnquest provided a breath sample. Turnquest was charged with DUI less safe, DUI per se, and failure to maintain lane. He filed a motion to exclude the results of the breath test on essentially two grounds: (1) Miranda warnings had to precede a request to perform a chemical breath test because, as was held previously by the Georgia Supreme Court, submitting to a breath test is an incriminating act that implicated the right against self-incrimination; and (2) the test results should have been suppressed because the implied consent advisement misled him by stating that if he refused the test, refusal could be used against him at trial and could affect his driving privileges. The trial court granted the motion on the basis that Miranda warnings had to precede an officer’s request for a breath sample from a suspect in custody. In reaching this conclusion, the trial court relied on Paragraph XVI, OCGA 24-5-506 (a) (formerly OCGA 24-9-20), and the Supreme Court’s decision in Price v. Georgia, 498 SE2d 262 (1998), as well as several Georgia appellate decisions that Price relied on. The State appealed, asking the Supreme Court to overrule Price. After reviewing the language, history, and context of the Georgia Constitution, the Supreme Court determined Price was wrongly decided, “and because stare decisis considerations do not warrant retaining that precedent to the extent that it is contrary to our conclusion about the meaning of the Georgia Constitution and OCGA 24-5-506, we vacate the trial court’s order suppressing breath-test results for failure to give Miranda warnings.” The matter was remanded the trial court for consideration of arguments not previously considered because of the trial court’s suppression of the breath test evidence.