Can You Refuse a Breathalyzer DUI Test in Georgia?

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A DUI is a charge that is prosecuted aggressively in Georgia. The fundamental laws governing this charge are interpreted strictly, resulting in stringent penalties.

One such law that has been controversial is the Georgia implied consent law. Often, many people think that by refusing to take a breathalyzer test, the police will lack sufficient evidence to successfully charge and convict them. However, this is rarely the case.

Here at Moffitt Law, LLC, we provide a breakdown of Georgia’s implied consent law and some potential consequences of refusing to take a breathalyzer and chemical test.

Understanding Georgia’s Implied Consent Law

The implied consent law in Georgia is defined under Georgia code 40-5-55. This section provides that anyone with a state driver’s license is under an obligation to adhere to the requests of a law enforcement officer to submit to chemical testing when they are under reasonable suspicion of drunk driving.

This implied consent law is automatically imposed on anyone with a state driver’s license in Georgia. As such, any driver within the state can’t lawfully refuse to undertake a chemical test without facing certain legal implications for the refusal.

What is Georgia’s Implied Consent Notice?

If you are arrested for a DUI in Georgia, the law enforcement officer must read Georgia’s implied consent notice immediately after the arrest. The purpose of Georgia’s implied consent notice is to inform the driver of the following:

  • The requirement to submit to testing.
  • The legal implications or potential penalties for refusing to submit to the test.
  • The right to ask for an independent test.

If the law enforcement officer fails to read you the notice, they are deemed to have violated the law. Therefore, any evidence or test results gathered may be rendered inadmissible in court.

What Happens If You Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Georgia?

Although drivers are allowed to refuse a breathalyzer test, this doesn’t mean that the police can’t proceed to arrest them. In fact, if the police have reason to suspect that you are driving while intoxicated and you refuse a breathalyzer test, they will require you to undertake a sobriety test.

A sobriety test, such as walking toe-to-toe in a straight line, can help the police get a warrant for a blood test. Therefore, it will be used as potential evidence against the driver in court. Any information gathered by the police during the sobriety test will be documented in the police report.

Noteworthy is that once arrested for DUI, a driver must submit to a breathalyzer test at the police station.

What Are the Consequences of Refusing a Chemical Test in Georgia?

Georgia’s law imposes mandatory penalties on drivers who refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test when requested by a law enforcement officer. One of the possible outcomes is confiscation of your license, and the enforcement officer will issue a 30-day permit.

Moreover, evidence of your refusal can be used against you later in court when prosecuting your case.

You need to request a hearing to challenge the license suspension as soon as possible. Failure to request a hearing may cause your driving privileges to be revoked for one year.

What Defenses Can You Use If You Refuse to Submit to a DUI Test in Georgia?

Refusal to submit to a DUI test in Georgia has legal ramifications with far-reaching implications on the life of the accused. For this reason, it is imperative to have a competent and qualified DUI defense attorney who can help build a robust defense against the evidence submitted by the prosecution.

Some of the defense strategies that you may use to poke holes in the evidence provided by the prosecution include:

  • Demonstrating that your Miranda rights were violated.
  • Errors in the BAC test
  • Missed procedures, including failure by the officer to read Georgia’s implied consent notice.

Suppose you successfully demonstrate glaring errors and mistakes made during the process, or the law enforcement officer violated your fundamental rights. In that case, you may avoid long-term consequences associated with the charges.

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Georgia

If you or your loved one is facing a DUI or any other related charge, you must act promptly to safeguard your rights and interests. An attorney at Moffitt Law, LLC can help build a robust defense against the prosecution and, at the same time, will work hard to ensure that you avoid a DUI conviction.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Georgia DUI FAQs

What is the work of the Georgia Department of Driver Services in relation to a DUI?

The purpose of the DDS is to handle your license suspension regarding implied consent laws.

Is everyone held to the same standard of BAC in Georgia?

No. For commercial vehicles, the standard is typically 0.04%, while for other vehicles, the level is 0.08%.

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