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DUI: Understand the Difference Between Taking a Breathalyzer or a Blood Test

You are probably aware that being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Georgia is no small matter and is further amplified if there are injuries or serious property damage. DUIs can be stressful, life-threatening, and expensive. You may have to spend time in jail and deal with lasting repercussions. If you are a repeat offender, these repercussions could be worse. In dealing with such a serious legal offense that could affect your future for many years to come, consult with an experienced DUI attorney from the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. as soon as possible after being charged.

It is extremely helpful to understand how to deal with law enforcement if you are one of many who are stopped at a DUI checkpoint. While it may not seem like you have many options upon being stopped, whether you have had one glass of wine with dinner—or one glass of wine too many—you do have choices in terms of what types of sobriety testing you can allow.

The most common request—and the most expedient action for police—will be for you to blow into a breathalyzer to measure your blood alcohol concentration. If it is above the legal limit of .08%, you may be charged. But what happens if you refuse to take a breathalyzer? This is within your rights, however, be aware that when you do refuse to take a breathalyzer you will most likely be required to take a blood test. For some, the difference may be that there is a much longer time period between blowing into a breathalyzer and being taken to the police department to submit to a blood test. If you refuse a blood test, you can expect a suspension of your license for one year.

If an officer believes you are under the influence, the initial request will be for you to blow into the Alco-Sensor (breath test on the side of the road) to estimate your blood alcohol content. If the results are above the legal limit of .08%, you may be arrested. You have the right to refuse this breath test, but an additional chemical test may be requested. The officer will more than likely request a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine. At this point, the officer must read an implied consent card aloud before asking you to submit to the chemical test. If you refuse the chemical test, you can expect to be arrested and a suspension placed on your driver’s license.

The same rules apply for the field sobriety test. If you feel like you are too tired or too stressed to pass a test (being expected to get out of your car and display good coordination) it is again within your rights to withhold consent; however, again, expect that your license may be suspended. If you had a valid reason for refusing to take any of these tests, your attorney may be able to help you overturn a suspension.

You probably have many questions if you have been charged with DUI, from wondering whether you will have to go to jail to worrying about getting your license back. Speak with an experienced DUI attorney from the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. Call now to learn more at 912-764-9616, or contact us online.