Refusals in Atlanta Georgia DUI Cases

Posted by Richard Lawson | Nov 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

One of the most frustrating things I see as an Atlanta DUI Lawyer is the number of people who call my office who are charged with DUI who have allegedly refused to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test.  If you have been charged with a DUI Refusal in Atlanta Georgia, contact an Atlanta DUI Attorney as soon as possible.

Of course many people refuse testing because they have been told by friends, colleagues, or even lawyers to never take a breath test. Those are legitimate refusal cases, and those drivers should face the consequences therein. Those refusal consequences can include a 12 month hard suspension.  That means a suspension without even a limited or restricted permit to drive

However, many people refuse testing because they are afraid, confused, and feel like they have been treated unfairly.  Unfortunately, some of these people would have tested under .08 and as a result passed the test.  I am certain that I have represented clients on Atlanta DUI Cases that would have passed the test had they taken it. This is proved by the fact that many people are released after they have been arrested and have subsequently passed a breath test.

Unfortunately again, some of those accused drivers will be faced with the choice to agree to a guilty plea in order to save their ability to drive.  That means that innocent people plead guilty to DUI because they cannot face the 12 month hard suspension of their drivers license as a result of the refusal.  The Atlanta DUI Process in a refusal cases works like this:

The driver refuses the breath test because they are confused, or they do not understand the Georgia Implied Consent Warning, or they feel like they have been treated unfairly because they have submitted to every other field sobriety test requested by the officer, or they confuse the alcosensor test on the side of the road with the breath test requested after arrest.  Sometimes they ask to speak to a lawyer first as well and are subsequently denied.

So, once arrested and released they meet with their DUI Lawyer in Atlanta and he tells the person that in order to drive, in some instances, they will have to agree to plead guilty at their ALS Hearing or they will face 12 months without driving.  This does not always happen because some police officers are reasonable and will unilaterally withdraw the refusal suspension without a promise to enter a guilty plea.

Other police officers think that their cases are infallible and refuse to withdraw the suspension without a guilty plea promise. Thankfully, many police officers are reasonable and are willing to allow a person to challenge their case without a promise to plead guilty. In fact, most police officers are good people willing to give those arrested a chance.

However, with Georgia State Patrol ( GSP ) arrests there is little flexibility. Their standard policy is to proceed with a refusal suspension unless a person agrees to plead guilty to DUI.  Their position is to use the leverage of the refusal suspension to close as many cases as possible with guilty pleas. This policy has fundamentally changed the way Atlanta DUI Lawyers handle refusal cases in the City of Atlanta.

There is still hope and there are options in your Atlanta DUI case.

There are options for Atlanta DUI Attorneys. Your DUI Attorney in Atlanta will investigate your case and look for defenses. Your DUI Attorney in Atlanta GA will then either decide to fight your Atlanta DUI Case or work out a negotiated settlement.  One tactic is to work out the case with the prosecutor as a reckless driving before your Atlanta ALS Hearing. If that happens, the ALS suspension becomes a moot point. Winning your Atlanta DUI case supersedes the ALS process.

The second option is for your DUI Lawyer in Atlanta GA to convince the arresting officer to unilaterially withdraw the refusal ( The DDS 1205 ). If the arresting officer withdraws the suspension without forcing the driver to plead guilty, then all options are open.  You then have the flexibility to enter into any plea bargain or to fight your Atlanta DUI Case.

At our office, we never assume the guilt of our clients.  We also understand that some of our clients charged with DUI refusal in Atlanta are not guilty.  We also understand that some people refuse because they are confused or treated unfairly. Whatever the reason for a refusal, we can help.  Contact us today for immediate legal help.  We are here 24/7 because your problems should not have to wait until Monday morning.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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