Being pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) can be a scary experience. Often, when a police officer pulls over a driver on suspicion of DUI, he or she requests that the driver take a breathalyzer test. Drivers often feel compelled to do whatever a police officer asks of them, so many take the breathalyzer test without a second thought. However, as we discuss below, drivers in Georgia aren’t required to submit to a breathalyzer test when requested by the police. A driver’s refusal to take a breathalyzer test, though, can have consequences. Below is an overview of the consequences of refusing a breathalyzer test in Georgia. For additional information, please contact one of our experienced Georgia DUI attorneys.
Refusal isn’t illegal
It isn’t illegal to refuse a breathalyzer test in Georgia. Therefore, it is within a driver’s right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test when asked to do so by a police officer. The only way police in Georgia can force a driver to take a breathalyzer test is with a search warrant. Further, evidence of a driver’s refusal to take a breathalyzer test can’t be introduced in court. This means that a judge or jury’s opinion of a driver can’t be influenced by his or her refusal to take a breathalyzer test. However, although refusing a breathalyzer test isn’t illegal and can’t be used against a driver in court, there are consequences for refusing a breathalyzer test in Georgia.
Consequences of refusal
One of the consequences of refusing to take a breathalyzer test in Georgia is a one-year license suspension. If a driver refuses a second breathalyzer test within five years of the initial suspension, this period will be extended. And although it’s true that refusing to take a breathalyzer test may possibly prevent a DUI charge in some situations, the loss of one’s license for a year or more is by no means inconsequential. On the bright side, however, a driver whose license is suspended for refusal to take a breathalyzer test may file an appeal within 30 days of the suspension. Regardless of whether a license suspension or DUI charge is involved, a driver who has been arrested on suspicion of DUI should immediately contact a Georgia DUI lawyer for help.
Contact a Georgia DUI lawyer
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Georgia, you need an experienced Georgia DUI attorney in your corner. At Carter Pilgrim, our talented DUI attorneys have a long track record of DUI litigation and negotiation success. Whether we’re in the courtroom or at the negotiation table, our talented attorneys will do everything in our power to ensure that your DUI charge is dismissed or reduced. Therefore, if you’ve been arrested for DUI in Georgia, please contact us for a consultation today.