On behalf of Perrotta, Lamb & Johnson, LLC posted in blog on Wednesday, October 4, 2017.
Unfortunately, drunk driving is a problem that does not seem to be going away anytime soon. In fact, the state of Georgia saw an increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities in 2015 compared to 2014.
When pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, most police officers will ask the driver to submit to some kind of field test. In many cases, this ends up being a breathalyzer. An issue with many departments' breathalyzers is they are inaccurate. Most people consent to this test, not realizing they can actually refuse. However, if a driver is going to refuse, then he or she should be ready for what comes next.
Can you refuse a breathalyzer?
The short answer is, "yes." You have the right to deny a field breathalyzer test. However, at this point, an officer could place you under arrest if he or she believes you are above the legal blood alcohol content limit. Officers will only arrest a person if they believe drivers pose a threat to themselves or others. Many officers do end up arresting a person after a denial, and after an arrest, the driver does have to submit to testing.
What does it mean that Georgia is an implied consent state?
George has implied consent laws in relation to DUIs. After an arrest, an officer will take you down to the station where you have another test to take. Most often, this is a blood test. At this point, if the driver refuses, then there are significant consequences. For a first offense, a driver will face license suspension for up to one year. Many times, you have 30 days to appeal the decision to try to get your license back, and you may have mandatory drug and alcohol courses. Attorneys do not recommend people to refuse these tests because that refusal could come up in court. After an arrest, it is best to comply with officers' demands.