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Georgia Law Holding It Illegal to Drive with Any Drug Residue in the Body Unconstitutional
Description Georgia high court struck down a state statute that allowed a driver to be guilty of driving under the influence based on blood or urine tests that reveal any drug residue in the body, which does not necessarily mean driving while under the influence. The law violates the equal protection clause.
Topic Constitutional Law
Key Words Equal Protection, Rational Relationship, Drug Laws
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts When Love was arrested for speeding, he was arrested for driving under the influence based on the smell of marijuana in his car. Blood and urine samples tested positive for marijuana. Love contested the conviction on the basis that the Georgia law allowing blood and urine test was unconstitutional.
Decision Reversed. The statute is unconstitutional. Evidence was that the marijuana found in the blood and urine samples could have been from an earlier time, so that Love was not necessarily driving under the influence. The equal protection clause is violated because, while the state has a rational interest in protecting the public from drivers driving under the influence of drugs, there is no rational relationship to earlier drug ingestion that does not impair driving, as in Love's case.
Citation Love v. State, - S.E.2d - (1999 WL 342736, Sup. Ct., Ga.)

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