After a highway patrol officer has determined that you had been drunk driving,
they are going to put you in handcuffs and bring you back to the station.
If this isn’t worrying you enough as it is, one of the first things
they are going to do when you arrive is ask you to take a
chemical test. It might sound like something out of a mad scientist’s lair, and
it isn’t too far off in reality.
There are three forms of chemical tests used by law enforcement in Georgia:
the blood test, the breath test, and the urine test. As the names suggest,
each one works by taking a small sample of one of the three sources from
you and testing it for alcohol concentration. Using whatever results they
find and comparing it to your body size, weight, and type, they extrapolate
and determine if you are drunk or not. If worse comes to worse, you are
found to be unlawfully intoxicated and you are charged with driving under
the influence (DUI).
But don’t you have the right to refuse to take a chemical test? It
is fairly intrusive, after all, and it
is technically collecting evidence against you through a search and seizure,
albeit from your own body. And, it is true, you
can refuse to take a chemical test. But, as basically any DUI attorney will
refusing a chemical test is not a good idea.
Implied Consent & Immediate Penalties
Stopping the police from getting evidence to use against you sounds like
a good idea on the surface. When it comes to preventing a chemical test,
though, it can spell your own undoing. Due to Georgia’s implied
consent law, which states you agree to chemical testing so long as you
are driving on a public road, refusing to take a test can trigger an automatic
1-year suspension of your driver’s license. Do it again, and the
suspension could be 3 or 5 years long. Intoxicated or not, refusing to
take a chemical test causing this suspension.
On the other hand, if you take a chemical test and the result is 0.08%
BAC or above, don’t panic and lose hope just yet. An experienced
DUI attorney can challenge any chemical test, for they are not perfect.
Problems with the machine, how the test was conducted, and how the samples
were extracted and stored can all make the results inaccurate and unusable.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Georgia and need legal help, call
912.385.0854 to connect with The Schneider Law Firm. You can also request an
initial consultation with the firm’s Savannah DUI attorney to get a rundown of your legal options.