Police are known for administering breathalyzer tests to identify drunk drivers. However, what many people don’t know is that a police officer can take a driver’s blood under certain circumstances as well. In this article, we examine the legality of DUI blood tests in Georgia.
DUI Blood Tests in Georgia
Law enforcement officials can attempt to obtain a driver’s blood sample in a Georgia DUI case in the following ways:
- Voluntary consent
- Implied consent
- Search warrant
The first way that police can obtain a blood sample following a DUI stop is if the driver consents to the test. However, even if a driver consents to a test and his or her blood alcohol content is above the legal limit, there are ways for a Gwinnett County DUI attorney to challenge the results in court. For example, a criminal defense attorney can argue that the test results were inaccurate. In addition, an attorney can attempt to demonstrate that the driver’s consent wasn’t actually voluntary.
In Georgia, a person who operates a motor vehicle is considered to have automatically consented to breath, urine, and blood testing. Despite this, Georgia drivers may still refuse to submit to chemical testing. Refusal to submit to testing has consequences, however. A driver who refuses to submit to a blood test following a DUI stop in Georgia will receive an automatic one-year license suspension. In addition, when a driver refuses to consent to testing, the authorities can seek a warrant to obtain a blood sample.
Following a driver’s refusal to give a blood sample, a police officer may contact the court to ask for a search warrant to obtain a blood sample. In order to properly obtain a search warrant for a blood sample, a police officer must do the following:
- Have probable cause for the initial DUI traffic stop;
- Request that the driver take a DUI blood test;
- Following a driver’s refusal to take a DUI blood test, request a search warrant from the court;
- After a warrant is issued, administer the blood test in jail or at the hospital; and
- Send the blood sample directly to the state crime lab for analysis.
Contact a Gwinnett County DUI Attorney
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in the state of Georgia, you need a Gwinnett County DUI attorney on your side. When you contact the DUI defense team at the law firm of Carter Pilgrim, our Georgia DUI attorneys will analyze the facts of your case to determine the most effective DUI defense strategy possible. We have a strong reputation in Georgia for aggressively defending our clients in the courtroom and obtaining stellar results during negotiations. Therefore, if you’re facing a DUI charge in Georgia, please contact us immediately to schedule an initial consultation.