What does refusing a blood test mean for an Atlanta DUI?
After you are pulled over, but before you are arrested, the Georgia State Patrol may try and get you to give a field breathalyzer test. This test is voluntary, and can be inaccurate. However, once you are placed under arrest, giving a chemical sample of your breath, blood or urine is not so voluntary. This is because of the implied consent law in Georgia. This means that even if you don't remember every formally agreeing with the Georgia Department of Driver Services that you would submit to chemical testing, the state considers your consent to be implied. Simply by having a Georgia drivers license, and driving on Georgia roads and highways, you have impliedly consented to certain requirements if you are ever arrested for a DUI.
If you agree to submit to chemical testing, then the police will have you give a breath, blood or urine sample. The choice is not up to you, it is up to the cops. After you have given a sample, it will be tested for evidence of your blood alcohol content (BAC), or for evidence of drugs. If your BAC is above the legal limit, 0.08% or higher for most drivers, 0.02% for drivers under 21, and 0.04% for commercial drivers, then this evidence will be used against you in court. However, there are still consequences if you refuse to submit to a chemical test.
Refusing a blood test in the State of Georgia will result in an automatic suspension of your driver's license for one full year. This does not even depend on if you are convicted of a DUI or not. This is a separate administrative action undertaken by the Department of Driver Services. After you are arrested for a DUI, you only have 30 days to challenge the administrative license suspension during an ALS hearing. If you wait more than 30 days, the suspension is automatic. Make sure you contact an Atlanta DUI lawyer as soon as possible so that you can keep your license.
There are more consequences associated with refusing to take a blood test. Even without the evidence of you BAC, the prosecutor could still try and use your refusal against you in court to try and get a conviction, or try and make you plead guilty, whether you were intoxicated or not.
In some cases, the police will get a warrant to take a sample of your blood even if you refused. This means that after you are arrested, if a judge approves based on the police officer's observations, they may forcibly draw blood to submit for chemical testing.
Georgia BAC DUI Lawyer
It doesn't matter if you did or didn't submit to a blood test in an Atlanta DUI, you still have rights and you still have defenses available. Just because the police think you were guilty does not mean that you have to plead guilty and end up with a criminal record. Don't wait another day because you only have 30 days to challenge the year-long license suspension. Call Lawson and Berry today so we can discuss the ALS hearing, consequences of blood test refusal, and what we can do to fight for your rights.