Georgia DUI Implied Consent Law: Should I Submit to a Chemical Test?
Lawyer Mark Jones is often asked by clients in Georgia who are charged with DUI (“driving under the influence”) what defenses are available to the DUI charge. This blog addresses three points about Georgia DUI implied consent statute.
1 . What is Implied Consent in Georgia?
OCGA 40-5-67.1 codifies Georgia’s implied consent warning that must be given to all drivers before submitting to a chemical drug test when that driver is suspected of driving under the influence.
The name “implied consent” comes from the concept that by using the roads to travel in the State of Georgia, you impliedly consent to a chemical test if there is a reasonable suspicion/probable cause to suspect you have committed the crime of driving while intoxicated. State v. Webb, 443 S.E.2d 630, 212 Ga.App. 872 (Ga. App., 1994)(“every driver’s consent to a chemical test for intoxication is implied by law.”).
Georgia’s implied consent warnings are tailored to the various types of drivers, but the most common warning is:
“Georgia law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state will be suspended for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state may be suspended for a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required
state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state administered chemical tests of your ( designate which tests ) under the implied consent law?”
2. Consequences of Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test
As you can see from the Georgia Implied Consent warning above, refusing to submit to a chemical test after a DUI has harsh consequences for your driving under the influence case. First, your license will be suspended for at least one year. Second, the prosecuting attorney will seek to offer your refusal into evidence at trial. So, refusing to submit to the chemical test does not necessarily mean that your case is helped.
3. So Should I Submit to a Chemical Test, Blood Test, Breathalyzer, or Intoxilyzer?
Different lawyers will have different opinions here. Lawyer Mark Jones is of the opinion that, if you have been drinking heavily, you should not submit to a chemical test. This forces the State of Georgia to prove their case. Refusing to submit to the test, however, comes with serious consequences, and you must contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately upon bonding out in order to reduce the impact of your decision to refuse a chemical test.
Hiring a DUI attorney may seem costly due to the lawyer’s fee, but the consequences of a DUI charge will cost you significantly more in the long run if you do not have counsel. Lawyer Mark Jones has actively represented clients accused of driving under the influence and can fight for you to make sure you are treated fair by the legal system. Please call Lawyer Mark Jones today at 706-225-2555 for a free consultation.
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