Can I lawfully deny a Breathalyzer test?
If you have been stopped for a DUI in Georgia, one of your first thoughts will likely be, do I need to submit to the breath, blood, or urine test? Knowing your right of refusal when it comes to chemical testing is essential for protection of your legal rights. In the state of Georgia, like all other states, there are what are known as “implied consent laws.” Implied consent laws essentially hold that by driving on Georgia roads, you automatically agree to take a chemical test to detect alcohol in your system. Implied consent laws have limitations, however, which our Atlanta DUI lawyers discuss below.
Implied Consent Notice
If you are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence, or you are involved in a serious accident, you must lawfully comply with the arresting officer’s request for a blood, breath, or urine test. However, before the test can be completed, the officer must recite to you Georgia’s implied consent notice. This notice states that you are required to submit to testing and lists the penalties you will be subjected to should you fail to comply. You must then give your consent before the test is administered.
Should the officer fail to give you the requisite implied consent notice, generally the results of your test will not be admissible in court. Even further, the Department of Driver Services will not usually be able to suspend your license based on your refusal of the test or the results of the test if you were not given proper notice.
Your Right to Refuse the Test
Your blood, urine, or breath can only be taken and submitted for testing with your voluntary consent. You have the absolute right to refuse to submit to a chemical test, but know that your refusal will come with consequences. In refusing the test, your license will likely be suspended and your refusal will be used against you in court, with the prosecutor likely presenting it as an indication of guilt.
For those that comply with the test, you additionally have the right to request an independent chemical test, at your expense. You can select from a blood, breath, or urine test. Should you request an independent test, the arresting officer must make reasonable accommodations to allow you the test. If you are not permitted an independent test, the court will look at whether your request for the independent test was reasonable. Contact an experienced DUI attorney for more information about Georgia’s implied consent laws.