Were You Accused of Refusing to Submit to a Georgia Breath, Blood, or Urine Test?
If you have been stopped by a Georgia officer who suspects you of DUI you may have to decide whether you should take the breathalyzer test or not. This can be a tricky decision and one made under stressful conditions. One side of the decision is that in a DUI case the breath test results are often the strongest piece of evidence against you if over the legal limit. As a result, you may choose to refuse the police officer's breath, blood or urine test. That can potentially make the DUI case against you harder for the prosecutor to prove.
However, the government is not throwing in the towel against you. They have the Administrative License Suspension Process or ALS Process against you. Basically, the State can take your license because of the refusal to submit to their breath test. As a result, they can leverage the possibility of losing your license ( without any permit to drive ) to force people into pleading guilty to DUI. Most people cannot afford to lose their drivers license for 12 months and are forced into these agreements. There is help out there. To begin your defense you need a 30 day letter.
Richard Lawson has been handling refusal DUI's in Georgia for more than 25 years. As a former DUI Prosecutor, he is uniquely qualified to handle your case and find legal and factual defenses. You are never automatically guilty of DUI in Georgia. There are always potential defenses. Your defense always starts with your ALS Hearing Request, commonly called a 30 day letter.
30 Day Warning!!
In Georgia, the 30 day letter must be done in any case where the driver is accused of refusing to submit to the State's chemical test of a person's blood, breath, or urine. Our office recommends a 30 day letter in every case, but when it's a case where there is a refusal, the case cannot be defended without a 30 day letter. There are no exceptions to this advice. The 30 day letter starts the Georgia ALS Process. There is help in a Georgia Refusal case. That help starts here.
If you don't file for an ALS Hearing:
When you are arrested for DUI, the Georgia officer is required to read you information that advises you that your privileges to drive in Georgia, or your driver's license will be suspended for one year upon refusal to submit to the state administered breath test. Basically, even before you have been convicted of a DUI in a court of law, the Georgia DDS may suspend your driver's license or privileges for refusing to submit to the breath test. In a case involving a refusal, the Georgia Department of Drivers Service will suspend your license for 1 year.
These consequences seriously affect your ability to travel to and from school or work, and there is no limited driver's license available with this form of suspension. This aspect of Georgia law is strict and confusing. It is important to seek legal counsel immediately following your arrest for a Georgia DUI so you can get help working through the confusion.
Handle your Case correctly from Day One:
Our lawyers are experienced in the process and consequences of refusing to submit to a breath test. You do not have to suffer a 12 month suspension of your drivers license. You don't have to face the prospect of losing your license and going to jail. Once the 30 day letter is filed, your Georgia DUI Lawyer will have time to investigate your case to see if the arresting officer followed all the correct procedures when you were arrested. If those procedures were not followed, then the refusal itself can be thrown out of court, thereby saving you from the 12 month license suspension. In addition, the arresting officer may have violated the Georgia Implied Consent Law. There are defenses at your Georgia ALS Hearing. It is not hopeless.
The Georgia Implied Consent Law:
Georgia law states that if you take a breath test and are over the legal limit (.08 for drivers over age 21; .02 for drivers under age 21) then you have committed a DUI –per se offense, giving the state a much stronger case against you. So the question is why anyone would take the test and give the state evidence? One answer can be found in Georgia's implied consent law. Georgia law requires that you submit to the state-administered chemical test of your blood, breath, urine or even other bodily substances. If your refused testing your Georgia drivers license or privilege to drive in Georgia will be suspended for 1 year.
That's why people are leveraged into taking the breath test. People worry about their license and ability to drive. Once you hire your Georgia DUI Attorney and your case is investigated, you may have defenses to the Georgia Implied Consent Law. If the arresting officer gives you advice or answered questions inconsistent to the Georgia Implied Consent warning, they cannot use the refusal or the chemical test against you.
Review the full wording of the Georgia Implied Consent Warning to see if your rights have been violated:
Georgia law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse the testing your Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state will be suspended for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more, your Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state may be suspended for a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state administered chemical tests of your (designate which tests) under the implied consent law?
If you are a commercial driver - CDL Driver - CDL License Holder - the warning is changed to reflect the .04 breath test limit. This only applies if you are driving a commercial vehicle at the time of your arrest.
If you are under the age of 21 and received a DUI in Georgia, the warning is changed to reflect the breath test limit of .02.
Contact our law offices today to get the help you need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our experts understand refusals in Georgia and how the Georgia Implied Consent Law can be turned around to actually help you. You don't have to have a 12 month suspension of your drivers license. Call today for the help you need in your case.