Atlanta, GA- Getting pulled over for any reason is bothersome, but being pulled over for suspicion of driving drunk is downright intimidating. It’s intimidating because you could go to jail and you have some tough decisions to make. One of those tough decisions is whether to submit to a breathalyzer test and possibly be charged with a DUI or refuse and face a different set of consequences. At the side of the road, you have a choice to make that will have an impact on your future. That is why our team of DUI lawyers in Atlanta wanted to talk about the pros and cons of refusing a breathalyzer in the state of Georgia.
There is this long-standing myth that refusing a breathalyzer is much better than being charged with a DUI, but that isn’t always true. There are some situations in which a refusal charged would have less severe legal consequences, but refusing is not penalty free.
Georgia like every other state has what is called an implied consent law, which states that any individual who gets a driver’s license must comply with a police officer when pulled over. By obtaining your driver’s license, you agree to field sobriety tests, a breathalyzer of chemical tests. If you refuse any sobriety test, you will have your license suspended immediately.
If you do reject a breathalyzer, your license will be taken right away, and an officer will issue a 30-day temporary license. You have 30 days from the date of your arrest to set up a court hearing to challenge your refusal charged. Should you fail to meet that deadline, your driver’s license will be suspended for a year. You might be able to get your license back after that 30-day period as long as you pay a $200 fine and complete an alcohol and drug abuse prevention course.
There are a couple of reasons why refusing a breathalyzer is risky. One reason is that you could face additional charges. In some cases, you can be accused of a refusal, and a DUI. That means you face double the consequences if you happen to be convicted. Another reason why refusing a breathalyzer is risky is that it makes you look guilty.
You can minimize the consequences of a refusal by getting legal assistance.
There are some situations in which refusing a sobriety test is wise. For example, if you are very drunk, you could face an aggravated DUI, which has severe penalties. In such a case, you may be better off refusing a breathalyzer test.
Sadly, whether or not to submit to a breathalyzer is a decision you have to make when on your own, but whatever you decide, you should contact a DUI lawyer in Georgia. You need to someone working on your case immediately, doing everything they can to minimize your charges.Let USAttorneys find you a local attorney to work in your defense and give you a greater chance of avoiding a refusal or DUI conviction.