Cherokee County DUI, .162 breath test, Failure to Report an Accident Dismissed

Defendant had struck a mailbox, accent light and some bushes in a neighborhood and left the scene.  A deputy with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department investigated the accident and found a piece of a car that through a search of the part number through Google, was able to determine the make and model of the vehicle.  The deputy patrolled the neighborhood where the accident occurred and came upon a residence with a garage door open.  Inside the garage was a vehicle matching the description of the results the deputy found in his Google search.  The deputy walked down the driveway of the residence and found the defendant asleep behind the wheel of the vehicle.  A DUI investigation was conducted, defendant was arrested and the defendant blew .162 and .168 on the State’s breath test.  The issue was whether the deputy could enter the open garage to investigate the accident without a warrant.  the Cherokee trial judge agreed with Mr. Sullivan in granting his motion to suppress all evidence when the deputy entered the garage as there were no “exigent circumstances” justifying the garage without a warrant.  The prosecution elected to dismiss the case as the judge’s ruling left the prosecution with no admissible evidence to prosecute the case.