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Do I Have the Right to Call My Lawyer Before Taking a Breath or Blood Test?

Because of Georgia’s laws on implied consent, you must take a breath test if an officer requests one at a traffic stop; the time to talk to your lawyer is after the breath test.

The law strictly limits the access that other people have to your property, information, and body without your consent. Consider that, if you go to the doctor, you must sign consent forms before undergoing any medical treatment, even if it is as simple as a blood test or a physical examination to test your lung function. The doctor’s office must also notify you of your rights regarding the privacy of your test results. Likewise, police cannot search your property without a warrant. Why is it, then, that all bets are off when you drive? At least in the moment, getting pulled over for drunk driving is a no-win situation. You can face penalties, including driver’s license suspension, whether you undergo a breathalyzer test or whether you refuse to provide a breath sample. It is your decision alone to take or refuse a breath test at your own risk, but after the traffic stop, you should contact an Atlanta DUI defense lawyer.

Implied Consent, Administrative License Suspension, and Other Technicalities of Georgia DUI Laws

According to Georgia law, by driving a motor vehicle in Georgia, you are implicitly agreeing to show a police officer your driver’s license and vehicle registration upon request. You are also implicitly agreeing to consent to a breath test or blood test to confirm that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the legal limit. The legal limit is 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21, 0.04% for drivers driving a commercial vehicle, and 0.08% for everyone else.

If you refuse a breath test at a traffic stop, the police can impose an administrative license suspension (ALS), which suspends your driving privileges for one year. Unlike with a DUI conviction, ALS completely prevents you from driving; it does not include any exceptions for commuting to work, transporting your children to certain places they need to go, or driving to medical appointments.

A DUI Lawyer Can Help You Whether or Not You Take a Breath Test

Whether your traffic stop results in DUI charges or an ALS, a DUI defense lawyer can help you. In the case of DUI charges, your lawyer can help you keep as many driving privileges as possible. If applicable, your lawyer may be able to help you fight the charges based on the inaccuracy of the test results. In the case of ALS, your lawyer may be able to argue that the ALS is invalid because the officer did not recite the legally required notices about your rights before issuing the ALS.

Contact an Atlanta DUI Defense Lawyer Today

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you have lost your driving privileges because of a DUI or ALS. Contact the defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam in Atlanta, Georgia, about criminal defense cases.