Most people are unaware that if they get investigated and arrested for DUI in Georgia that they are entitled to their own independent test. The majority of people believe that if they agree to the Georgia Implied Consent Law and consent to testing that those results are the only basis for showing intoxication. Only a small number of drivers arrested for DUI request their own independent test because they are unaware of their rights.
The right to an independent test attaches as soon as he or she has submitted to the arresting officer's Georgia DUI Sobriety testing.
Independent Testing in Georgia
There are some important notes that I would like to emphasize about the right to independent testing:
- If the driver refuses to submit to the chemical test, there is no right to an independent test.
- Submission to the breath test at the side of the road does not qualify as "submission" to the test.
- But it's the state-administered breath test performed at the jail that causes the right to an independent test to attach.
The Georgia Code outlines the right to an independent test:
The person tested may have a physician or a qualified technician, chemist, registered nurse, or other qualified person of his own choosing administer a chemical test or tests in addition to any administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer. O.C.G.A. 40-6-392(a)(3).
Officers are required to make reasonable accommodations for a driver who makes a request for an independent test. An officer is required to take the driver to a medical or testing facility within a 50-mile radius, and failure to do so means that the right to reasonable accommodation has been violated.
Although all drivers who consent to Georgia DUI breath or blood tests have a right to the independent test. However, they are obligated to make the arrangements for it. The driver must inform the police officer of the time and place of the testing, and the driver must be able to pay for it, and an officer can be required to drive you to an ATM to help you obtain funds for the independent test. If you do not know what facilities offer independent tests, law enforcement is required to assist you by providing you with access to the internet, a phone book, and a phone so that you may contact facilities that may be able to help.
The independent test gives you more reliable test results to assist your lawyer in your defense. Tests performed by Georgia law enforcement are frequently inaccurate, and you can address these inaccuracies with an independent test.
Moreover, if the arresting officer does not comply by accommodating the request for an independent test, the case may be dismissed.
This is not a possibility if the independent test is never requested.
Bottom line, a DUI case can greatly benefit from an independent test, and a Georgia DUI Attorney can assist you in defending your case.