ELLINGTON, P. J., ANDREWS and RICKMAN, JJ.
personally observing appellant Scott Suggs commit several
traffic offenses in Hall County, a Hall County deputy sheriff
conducted a traffic stop in that county but crossed the
county line in order to conduct an investigation and
effectuate an arrest of Suggs for DUI-less safe. Suggs moved
to suppress all evidence surrounding and including his
arrest, contending that the deputy lacked the authority to
investigate and/or arrest him outside of Hall County. The
trial court agreed with Suggs that the deputy exceeded his
authority outside of Hall County, but held that suppression
of the evidence was not warranted because the arrest did not
amount to a violation of Suggs's constitutional rights.
We granted Suggs's motion for interlocutory appeal in
order to review the trial court's order. For the
following reasons, we conclude that the trial court erred to
the extent that it held that the deputy was not authorized to
investigate and/or arrest Suggs outside of Hall County; we
nevertheless affirm the trial court's order denying
Suggs's motion to suppress as right for any
pertinent facts underlying Suggs's motion are undisputed,
and we therefore apply a de novo review to the trial
court's application of the law to the facts. See
Mitchell v. State, ___Ga.___, *4 (Case No. S17A0459,
decided June 26, 2017) ("When the evidence at a
suppression hearing is uncontroverted and the credibility of
witnesses is not in question, we conduct a de novo review of
the trial court's application of the law to the
undisputed facts.") (citation and punctuation omitted).
record shows that in September 2015, a Hall County deputy
sheriff was on traffic enforcement duty at an intersection
located in Hall County when he observed Suggs fail to bring
his vehicle to a complete stop before entering the highway.
The deputy followed Suggs for approximately two miles, during
which he observed Suggs repeatedly cross the center lane of
the highway and make a wide left turn.
deputy conducted a traffic stop of Suggs's vehicle and
could smell alcohol emanating from Suggs's person as he
struggled getting his driver's license out of his wallet.
Suspecting that Suggs was under the influence of alcohol but
believing that it was unsafe to conduct an investigation on
the "extremely rough" dirt shoulder in close
proximity to passing vehicles, the deputy instructed Suggs to
pull his vehicle into a parking lot on the opposite side of
the roadway. After performing roadside sobriety tests, the
deputy arrested Suggs for DUI-less safe.
the initial stop of Suggs's vehicle was conducted in Hall
County, Suggs and the deputy crossed the county line when
they entered the parking lot, resulting in the investigation
and subsequent arrest taking place in Barrow County.
filed a motion to suppress, arguing that the deputy had no
authority to gather evidence against or arrest him outside of
Hall County. Relying on the recent case of Zilke v.
State, 299 Ga. 232 (787 S.E.2d 745) (2016), the trial
court agreed that the deputy exceeded his authority when he
effected an arrest across the county line, but ultimately
concluded that suppression was not warranted because the
evidence was not gained as the result of an unreasonable
search or seizure.
Zilke, the Supreme Court of Georgia reviewed a
decision from this Court in which we held that OCGA §
17-4-23 (a) authorized a POST-certified campus police
officer to make an arrest for a traffic offense committed in
the officer's presence but outside of the
statutorily-designated territorial jurisdiction for campus
police officers. Id. at 232-233; see State v.
Zilke, 333 Ga.App. 344 (773 S.E.2d 489) (2015). The
Zilke Court reversed our opinion after concluding
that the plain language of OCGA § 17-4-23 (a) could not
be reasonably construed to enlarge the territorial boundaries
of a campus police officer. Id. at 234-235. In so
doing, the Court disapproved of any prior cases in which we
relied on OCGA § 17-4-23 (a) to "authorize[ ] a law
enforcement officer, including a campus police officer, to
make a custodial arrest outside the jurisdiction of the law
enforcement agency by which he is employed."
Id. at 234-235; see Glazner v. State, 170
Ga.App. 810 (318 S.E.2d 233) (1984) and its
the deputy sheriff's authority to arrest Suggs was not
derived from §17-4-23 (a), however, the outcome of
Suggs's motion to suppress is not controlled by the
holding of Zilke. The trial court erred to the
extent that it held otherwise.
speaking, this Court held that the power of an officer to
effect a warrantless arrest outside of the territorial
boundary of his or her law enforcement agency for
traffic-related offenses was derived from one of two
statutes, OCGA §§ 17-4-23 (a) and/or 40-13-30. See
State v. Heredia, 252 Ga.App. 89, 90 (1) (555 S.E.2d
91) (2001) and cases cited therein. But while the
Zilke Court disapproved of the line of cases relying
on OCGA § 17-4-23 (a), it did not consider or render any
opinion as to the arrest authority conferred by OCGA §
40-13-30. That statute, specifically contained within Title
40 and governing traffic offenses, provides as follows:
§ 40-13-30. Authority to make arrests.
Officers of the Georgia State Patrol and any other officer of
this state or of any county or municipality thereof having
authority to arrest for a criminal offense of the grade of
misdemeanor shall have authority to prefer charges and bring
offenders to trial under this article, provided that officers
of an incorporated municipality shall have no power to make
arrests beyond the corporate limits of such municipality
unless such jurisdiction is given by local or other law.
that the statute's territorial restriction is limited to
arrests made by municipal officers, we have held that
"by implication[, ] . . . certain officers (including
deputy sheriffs) have arrest powers for these offenses
outside their appointed territories." (Citation and
punctuation omitted.) Hastings v. State, 211 Ga.App.
873, 874 (441 S.E.2d 83) (1994); see Heredia, 252
Ga.App. at 90 (1); City of Winterville v.