What should you have to take a breath test just because the police think you're drunk?
Unfortunately, the state's implied consent laws mean that refusing to submit to a chemical test after a DUI arrest will mean an automatic license suspension, even if you are later found not guilty! This may not seem fair, but even if you refuse to take a breath test you may still have options for keeping your driver's license.
Not all breath tests are created equal. The Atlanta Police Department and the GEorgia State Patrol can use different kinds of breath testing machines to check you blood alcohol content, or BAC. The first kind is the handheld device that the police use in roadside stops. The police officer will ask the driver to blow into the breathalyzer, and use the results to arrest you for driving under the influence. But before you decide to give a breath test, the field breath test is not required, and is voluntary. You can refuse a field breathalyzer test, but unfortunately, the police may still decide to arrest you for a DUI anyway, based on other observations of impairment.
Once you get arrested for a DUI, the police will have you submit to chemical testing of either your blood, breath or urine, to determine if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You may not have consciously made an agreement with the state, but simply by having a Georgia drivers license, and driving on Georgia roads and highways, you have impliedly consented to chemical testing if you are ever arrested for a DUI.
If you refuse a breath test, it may impact your criminal court case as well as your ability to drive. The state may use your refusal against you at trial. Additionally, the Georgia Department of Driver Services will suspend your license for a whole year. You may think that if you are convicted of a DUI, your license will get suspended anyway. However, on a normal DUI suspension, you will be able to get a limited driving permit, to be able to drive to work and school, and to doctor's appointments. But on a suspended license for refusing a chemical test, you won't get any driving privileges for a whole year.
In order to fight this license suspension after your arrest, you will need to request an ALS hearing, but you only have 10 days to request the hearing or you will lose your opportunity to contest the automatic suspension. If you contact your Atlanta DUI defense lawyer, they will be able to file the 10 day letter, secure an ALS hearing, and fight the charges against you to keep your license to drive.
Georgia Implied Consent Law DUI Lawyer
Whether or not you submitted or refused breath testing in an Atlanta DUI case, you still have rights and you have defenses available. Don't wait to contact a DUI lawyer, because you only have 10 days to challenge an automatic one-year suspension. I've successfully defended hundreds of clients both in court and during ALS hearings. Call me today so we can discuss the ALS hearing, implied consent consequences, and what we will do to fight for your rights, and make sure you get treated fairly.