DUI Chemical Testing
Most people are familiar with the breathalyzer device that police will try and get driver's to use when pulled over at the side of the road. However, this is only an investigative tool. The real breath test device will be done at the police station after an arrest, with a much larger and allegedly much more accurate machine.
Although when someone is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Georgia, they may be surprised to find an officer asking for a blood draw. After all, a blood test is much more invasive, and while you may have no problem with a police officer having you blow into a machine, you may not trust them sticking a needle into your arm. Why do the police need a blood test if they have the breath machine?
Do you want to refuse a blood test? Refusing a chemical test after a DUI arrest may have some consequences. Although it is not a crime to refuse a chemical test, and there are no criminal penalties, there may be some administrative penalties. Like most states, Georgia has an “implied consent” law when it comes to driving on Georgia roads. This means that if you are arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you have impliedly given your consent to chemical testing.
If you refuse a chemical test, the Department of Driver Services (DDS) can take away your driving privileges. A conviction for a first time DUI usually carries a 120 day license suspension. However, by refusing a chemical test in conjunction with a DUI arrest, your license will be suspended for one year.
Even if you refuse all chemical tests, it does not mean that the prosecutor won't be able to convict you of a DUI. Even without the number to show your blood alcohol content, the prosecutor still has the police report, the police officer's observations and testimony. Fighting a DUI charge can be complicated, and your Atlanta DUI lawyer understands how to approach a DUI case, and how to fight for your rights.
Blood tests can be taken at the police station or at the hospital. The samples are generally then sent off to the state crime lab for testing. Blood samples will be tested for alcohol levels or for the presence of other drugs in the system. The lab will use gas chromatography to analyze the blood, and generate a graphic reading of the chemicals in the blood. The results may indicate your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08% or higher, which is a per se violation of Georgia DUI law.
With an over-the-limit blood test result, or a blood test that shows marijuana or other drugs in the system, you may think that there is no way to win your case. Many drivers facing a positive blood test will just accept whatever deal the prosecutor offers them, whether it is fair or not. But before you give in, understand that you can have a lawyer fight for you.
Even though the blood test is based on complicated science, it does not mean that those results are 100% accurate. In fact, there are many things that can happen to make those blood test results unreliable. If the person drawing the blood doesn't follow the correct procedures, they can contaminate the sample. If the person doing the test at the crime lab messes up, they can make your blood test results unreliable. Your Atlanta DUI lawyer can investigate the blood draw and testing, and can even bring in a blood test expert.
Atlanta DUI Lawyer
A chemical test showing that you were driving over the legal limit does not necessarily mean that you have to be convicted for a DUI. The results of a blood test can be challenged for a number of reasons. As experienced Atlanta DUI lawyers, we have dedicated our legal career to defending people charged with driving under the influence and other alcohol-related offenses. Call us today, and we will fight to make sure you get your license back and stay out of jail.