Dalton DUI Lawyer – Dalton DUI Attorney
Richard Lawson is a former Georgia DUI prosecutor with over 25 years' experience with DUI Law. His law firm, the Law Office of Richard Lawson, is Georgia's top-rated DUI Defense firm. Please see our Avvo reviews and contact our office for a no-obligation consultation.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Dalton, GA, you should know that you only have thirty days from the date of your arrest to keep your driver's license from being suspended. To do so, you or your Dalton DUI Lawyer must file a request for an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing or choose to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. The cost to file the request is $150. If this hearing request is not filed within the thirty-day timeframe, your Georgia driver's license will automatically be suspended.
If you have been accused of refusing the State's chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine, your Georgia driver's license will be suspended for one year, with no chance for a limited permit or early reinstatement. When you need a DUI Attorney in Dalton, contact the Law Office of Richard Lawson!
Dalton DUI Defense
The Dalton DUI Attorneys with the Law Office of Richard Lawson know the stress and worry that goes with the legal trouble of being arrested and charged with DUI in Dalton, Georgia. Persons who make the mistake of drinking and driving are subjected to stringent laws and the penalties can be severe; including jail time, hefty fines, a driver's license suspension, increased insurance rates, court costs, and alcohol/drug treatment.
Attorney Richard Lawson takes each DUI case seriously to make sure you are treated fairly by the law. He will not “plead you out” or assume you are automatically guilty simply because law enforcement and chemical test results allege you were.
DUI Defense Strategies
Contrary to popular belief, breath alcohol analysis is not a sure thing. The device the State of Georgia uses (Intoxilyzer 9000) is only a machine, and, like any machine, subject to malfunction. Radio frequency, malfunction of components, improper calibration, air contamination, and user error are just some examples of how breath testing results can be affected.
To make matters worse, breath testing machines are known for producing false positives or inflated readings where these (and other) conditions exist:
- Mouth alcohol
- Acid reflux or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Not adhering to the deprivation/observation period
- Being on the Atkins Diet
- Burping or vomiting
- Consuming some soft drinks
Having a fever or even an airbag deploy in your face can cause your BAC to be incorrect. Do not worry; your Dalton DUI Lawyer knows all the possible defenses against breath tests.
Many of our clients' main concern is their BAC. Our office gets calls all the time to ask questions such as “If I test over .08, I am guilty of DUI, right?”
In short, the answer is not necessarily. Your “alleged” breath test results are just the beginning of analyzing your case.
Blood tests, whether they are taken at a hospital or police station, are the most accurate chemical test of sobriety used to determine the BAC of a DUI suspect. However, they are also very expensive and inconvenient. Blood tests are often requested when law enforcement feels the breath test result was inaccurate.
Blood alcohol tests are considered to be intrusive, but they can determine the amount of alcohol in a DUI suspect's blood rather quickly. The human body steadily continues to break the alcohol down after drinking, and the time between drinking and having a blood test done affects the result. It is imperative to have the test done as quickly as possible from the time you are pulled over.
Blood alcohol testing is quite accurate in determining a suspect's BAC; however, the results can be misleading. Some examples include:
- Persons with diabetes or conditions with elevated ketones
- Consuming cough syrups or other herbal supplements
The most affected variable in blood testing is determined by how the blood is drawn. The most obvious risk to the sample is the alcohol swab used to prep the area for the blood draw. The alcohol on the surface of the skin can contaminate blood sample by increasing the amount of alcohol found in the suspect's body.
There are a couple of ways for blood to be tested for blood alcohol content:
- Testing whole blood
- Testing blood serum only
Whole blood testing is the standard procedure for BAC testing; however, a hospital may only test blood serum. A blood serum sample can show blood alcohol levels up to 25% higher than whole blood test results.
Generally speaking, the ability to correctly determine BAC levels through a blood sample is very high, and is the most successful out of all the chemical tests.
A significant number of DUI cases that involve blood testing result in a conviction if the driver is positively over the legal limit. Blood testing is tough to refute in court.
Urine tests are an easy alternative to the breath test. They are an intrusive method (like blood testing), but are cheap and are fairly accurate in determining a person's alcohol content.
Even though urine samples cannot be taken onsite, law enforcement can obtain a sample at the police station, at a clinic, or hospital. For accurate results, lab verification is required.
Like any chemical test of sobriety, the lapse of time between the last drink and the test can affect a urine sample. Not drinking before giving a sample can change the test because the body is continually absorbing and breaking down the alcohol molecules. That means that a positive urine test does not necessarily mean the suspect was under the influence of alcohol at the time they were pulled over.
Technology has found a way to increase accuracy to determine how recent (within the last few hours) a person has consumed alcohol as opposed to many hours or even days. A direct alcohol metabolite, ethyl glucoronide (EtG), will show up in a person's urine immediately after consuming alcohol. That means it is capable of detecting recent alcohol consumption even if there is no measurable alcohol present in the body's system.
Besides determining a person's blood alcohol content, urine tests offer flexibility in testing for other drugs such as marijuana and nicotine. As with the blood test, urine tests are difficult (but not impossible) to challenge in court. Contact a Dalton DUI Attorney with the Law Office of Richard Lawson today to discuss your chemical test results and your available options.
Unfortunately, urine tests are prone to manipulation by the person being tested. If left alone during the sample collection process, the suspect may dilute or switch the sample. Those possibilities should be taken into account during analysis. Temperature testing is now used in an effort to detect the validity of the sample; however, corruption of urine samples is still difficult to prove.
Dalton GA Municipal Court
Dalton Municipal Court is responsible for handling city ordinance and traffic violations that occur within the city limits of Dalton. The Honorable Robert Cowan is the Chief Judge, Michael Corbin is the Solicitor, and Angela Sackett is the Court Administrator. Court is held at 214 West King Street, Dalton, GA 30720. Call (706) 278-1913.
Dress Code for Dalton Municipal Court
- Men should wear shoes and long pants with a shirt.
- Women need to wear shoes, dresses, skirts or pants (long), with a blouse, sweater, or dress shirt.
- Tank tops, shorts, shirts with bare midriffs, halters, flip flops, and hats are unacceptable dress for court (except clothing for religious purposes).
- All cell phones and other electronics must be turned off prior to entering the courtroom.
Map to Dalton GA Municipal Court
DUI Trouble? Contact Our Office
Dalton DUI cases are seldom hopeless. Law enforcement officers often screw up roadside DUI investigations. Chemical tests are not error-free, and certain medical conditions yield false elevated BAC readings. A good DUI Lawyer in Dalton will use these defenses to win your case.
If you or someone you care about was arrested for DUI and need a DUI Attorney in Dalton, contact the Law Offices of Richard Lawson to receive a free case evaluation with one of our Dalton DUI Lawyers. We have experience with all types of DUI cases in Dalton. Do not think you can ignore your DUI charge and it will simply go away; get peace of mind by speaking with an experienced Dalton DUI Attorney today!
Dalton GA DUI Resources
Whitfield County Sheriff's Department
Whitfield County Clerk of Superior Court
Administrative Office of the Courts
Whitfield-Murray Historical Society