While no one should ever drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the reality is that being stopped by law enforcement who may suspect you have been drinking is a stressful experience. Further, actually being charged with a DUI is not only an enormous wake-up call but also an extremely unpleasant experience.
When caught up in the moment having one or two drinks too many, you may not have considered that you would be driving home over the legal limit for blood alcohol in Georgia; in fact, there are three different types of legal limits. If you are under 21, it is 0.02, if you are an adult over 21 driving a regular vehicle it is 0.08, and if you are driving a commercial vehicle or truck, the limit is lowered to 0.04. Most of us do not have a breathalyzer on hand as we are leaving a restaurant or a bar (although portable models are available to the general public and can be very useful!). This makes it hard to quantify your BAC, but you should be able to tell if you’re well enough to get behind a wheel. It helps to appoint a designated driver before any drinking begins.
If you have been pulled over for a suspected DUI, it can be challenging to remember your rights and make decisions. It is your right to refuse to take a breathalyzer; however, such a refusal does not mean that you won’t be tested. Because of the implied consent law, once you are given a driver’s license, you also consent to be tested for drugs and or alcohol. This means that you may decline to take the breathalyzer, but you will be driven to the police station for either a blood or urine test. In most cases, your license will also be suspended for one year once you decline the breathalyzer—and the same goes for refusing to perform field sobriety tests such as ‘walking the line.’ 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.
Some Law enforcement officials may even skip the breathalyzer altogether. Other types of tests cannot be given from the roadside, so again you must be taken to the lab (normally at or connected with the jail). 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.