Can you Refuse a Breath or Blood Test During a DUI Stop?
Georgia, like every other state, has an implied consent law. This means that when you are a registered Georgia driver, you consent to any future requests for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) samples you receive from law enforcement. An officer may request a breath sample, a blood sample, or a urine sample.
Although Georgia has an implied consent law, nobody can force you to provide a BAC sample. However, you will be penalized for refusing to do so. Refusing to provide a sample will not protect you from being charged with driving under the influence ( DUI ).
In Georgia, you may refuse to provide a breath or blood sample. But if you do, expect to have your driver’s license suspended for one year. However, you CAN request a hearing within 30 days of your arrest by paying the appeal fee of $150 and following a detailed appeal process. Contact our team at Zimmerman & Associates and let us show you how to stop your Georgia license from getting suspended, before it is too late.
Even if you agree to provide a BAC sample, you can fight your DUI charge. There are a variety of strategies you can use to do this, and your lawyer will explain them to you and help you determine which is the best choice for your case.
A field sobriety test is not the same as a chemical blood test. Field sobriety tests are the tests officers use to look for signs of impairment at a traffic stop, like requesting that a driver walk heel to toe in a straight line and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. There is no implied consent law essentially requiring drivers to comply with a request for a field sobriety test.
There are valid reasons to refuse to perform a field sobriety test. The main one is that the officer’s notes about your performance may be used to support a DUI charge. Another is that even if you are perfectly sober when you are asked to perform a field sobriety test, there is a strong chance you will perform in a manner that can be construed as impairment. Think about it: would you be able to concentrate on physical tasks like balancing on one leg while you are feeling the stresses of being pulled over, facing officer scrutiny, and watching traffic blur past? Even if you think you can, do not risk giving the officer anything to use against you.
When you are facing a DUI charge, work with an experienced DUI defense lawyer to fight it. You can fight a DUI charge just like you can fight any other type of criminal charge; the key to having yours dropped is developing an effective legal defense strategy that makes it impossible for the court to find you guilty of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. To learn more about DUI defense strategies and how you can use one to fight your charge, contact our team at Zimmerman & Associates to set up your free legal consultation in our office.