If you have been pulled over by a police officer and are suspected of driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, there is a good chance that you will be asked to submit to a breath test that will determine the level of alcohol in your system. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the state of Georgia is .08. Learning what your rights are can help you make a good decision if you have been pulled over by law enforcement for a suspected DUI in the state of Georgia.
Should I Blow if I am Pulled Over?
If you are pulled over for a possible or suspected DUI, the police will ask you to submit to a breath test by blowing into a breathalyzer. These machines are not calibrated by the state, or tested by the state, and can provide faulty readings. You have the right to refuse to blow into a breathalyzer if you are pulled over. You also have the right to refuse to submit to any subjective field tests that a police officer may attempt to give you.
New Georgia Law
As of February 2019, the Supreme Court of Georgia determined that if a DUI case goes to trial, a prosecutor can not reveal that a person refused to blow into a breathalyzer, as it goes against a person’s right to self-incrimination. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that a law enforcement officer can not compel a driver suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to take a breath test by blowing into a breathalyzer.
Can I be Convicted of a DUI if I Blow Under the Limit?
In Georgia, a person can be convicted of “DUI Less Safe” under Georgia Code, Title 40, Statute 40-6-391. This law states that you will be charged with full penalties of a DUI, even though you may have had a blood alcohol content level of only 0.05 and the police officer could prove that you were incapable of driving. A DUI Less Safe can be charged if a person refuses to submit to a breathalyzer test. However, if a person does blow into a breathalyzer, and it is determined that he or she had a blood alcohol content of 0.05, then that person could still be facing the full penalties of a DUI in the state of Georgia.
Can I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test at the Police Station?
If you have been taken into the police station for a possible DUI, law enforcement will likely ask you to blow into the breathalyzer machine known as the Intoxilyzer 9000. This machine is much more accurate and calibrated. If you refuse to take this breathalyzer test at the police station, your driver’s license may be suspended for one year, and it will be suspended before you go to court to attempt to contest your DUI. Additionally, if you fail to submit to a blood test at the police station, your driver’s license will also be suspended for a year.
Contact a DUI Lawyer Today
Given that the State of Georgia may prosecute you for full penalties if you blow even a 0.05, and also that the Supreme Court of Georgia has indicated that not blowing into a breathalyzer cannot be addressed if you are taken to court, it appears that making the choice to not blow into a breathalyzer if you are stopped for a possible DUI is a good choice. However, if you are taken into the police station, making the decision not to submit to a breathalyzer test will result in the suspension of your driver’s license for a year. Contact an experienced DUI attorney at Charlton & Glover today at 770-993-1005 or online for a free consultation and to help you understand your rights.