In the State of Georgia, breath or blood test refusals are taken very seriously, and any driver suspected of DUI who refuses to submit to a breath or blood test at the request of an officer will face an extended driver's license suspension. A normal suspension is typically 120 days on a first offense within a 5 year period of time. However, when a driver refuses the BAC test, his or her license could be suspended for a year or more.
Georgia Blood Alcohol Test Refusals
The trouble with the breath or blood test is that the laws surrounding it are vague and not very well known. First, the Georgia implied consent law requires all drivers to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test at the request of an officer however, the main penalty for a refusal is an extended license suspension, not jail. Therefore, many drivers don't even realize that refusing a BAC test is a punishable offense. Second, many drivers do not realize that the test they are supposed to submit to must be conducted at the police station, not on the side of the road. If the breath test is administered on the side of the road, it will be considered a field sobriety test, since it was taken while the officer was out in the "field." This confusion has led to numerous refusal charges. Because drivers assume they have already submitted to the breath test on the side of the road, they don't realize they need to take another one at the police station, so they sometimes refuse.
Sometimes drivers "refuse" to take the test until they have spoken with their lawyer. This is within their legal rights, yet some officers consider this a refusal. Other times a driver may request to take a test at an independent testing facility, which is also within their right. But again, many officers do not see it that way and end up charging the driver with a refusal. In Georgia, a driver is only entitled to an independent test of his blood, breath, or urine after he/she submits to the test requested by the officer. This confusion may result in the officer charging the driver with a "refusal."
Experienced Georgia DUI Defense
If you were recently arrested on DUI charges and the officer claims you refused the breath or blood test, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Richard Lawson. Mr. Lawson has defended countless clients throughout the State of Georgia against DUI charges, and has a unique advantage that other DUI defense attorneys do not. Due to Mr. Lawson's experience as a prosecutor, he has the same training and knowledge as the attorneys prosecuting your case, which means he knows how they think and can prepare your defense accordingly. Furthermore, Mr. Lawson has advanced training in how to properly administer a field sobriety test, and can use this knowledge to contest your charges. All of our legal professional are trained in breath-testing and field sobriety testing.