DUI. Carroll State Court. Before Judge Sullivan.
Leonard Danley, Sr., for appellant.
Douglas C. Vassy, Solicitor-General, for appellee.
Barnes, P. J., and
Boggs, J., concur.
After he was involved in an automobile accident, Donnie G. Holland's blood was tested, which eventually led to his conviction for driving under the influence of a controlled substance. On appeal, Holland contends the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress the blood test results, overruling his chain-of-custody objection to the blood test results, and denying his motion for a directed verdict. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
1. Holland contends the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress his blood test results. He argues that his blood was seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment because the arresting officer had no probable cause to arrest and therefore no basis to seek a blood test. He also argues that the arresting officer's determination that Holland was under the influence of alcohol or drugs was not credible.
[329 Ga.App. 104] A trial judge's findings of fact on a motion to suppress should not be disturbed if there is any evidence to support them; determinations of fact and credibility must be accepted unless clearly erroneous; and the evidence must be construed in favor of the trial court's findings and judgment. Tate v. State, 264 Ga. 53, 54 (1) (440 S.E.2d 646) (1994); Jackson v. State, 258 Ga.App. 806, 807-808 (2) (575 S.E.2d 713) (2002). " When reviewing a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress, we may consider trial testimony in addition to the testimony submitted during the motion to suppress hearing." Postell v. State, 279 Ga.App. 275, 276 (1) (630 S.E.2d 867) (2006) (citation and punctuation omitted).
At the hearing on Holland's motion to suppress and at trial, the State presented evidence to show that on June 28, 2011, State Trooper Michael Garmon was called to investigate an accident. Garmon determined that Holland was driving a pickup truck, that Holland was attempting to turn left, i.e., southbound, onto U.S. Highway 27, that Holland failed to yield to traffic, and that he was struck by a northbound patrol car driven by Carroll County Deputy Thomas Lanning. Garmon attempted to speak with Holland at the scene, but Holland was " a little hysterical at the time," and he did not provide any information. Garmon admits that he did not gain any information at the scene to suggest that Holland was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Although Holland testified
that he did not see the police car, hear a siren, or see emergency lights, Officer Lanning testified at trial that at the time of the collision his blue lights and siren were activated and that he gave this information to Garmon at the hospital.
At the hospital where Holland was taken following the accident, Garmon questioned Holland again. Garmon observed that Holland was " a little slow in responding," that his speech was slurred, that he was " a little withdrawn," and that his eyes were " very bloodshot and watery." Garmon asked Holland whether he was taking any medications, and Holland responded that he took Lorcet and Soma on a daily basis and that " it makes [me] sleepy ... just like I am now." When Garmon asked why Holland pulled out in front of the other vehicle, Holland replied that he " had the cars beat, but the officer didn't know." Garmon then conducted the horizontal gaze nystagmus (" HGN" ) test on Holland while Holland lay in his hospital bed. Garmon observed four " clues" : " lack of smooth pursuit" and " distinct nystagmus at maximum deviation" in each of Holland's eyes. Garmon testified that any more than two HGN " 'clues' indicates a certain level of impairment." Based on these observations, Garmon concluded that Holland was under the influence of drugs, and he therefore arrested Holland for driving under the influence of drugs and [329 Ga.App. ...