Refusing a Chemical Test: Is it the Right Decision?

The state of Georgia allows for a chemical test be administered to any driver who is suspected to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Typically, the chemical test will be administered by the law enforcement officer who made the initial stop, and it will be used to assess whether or not the suspect was, in fact, driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or even a combination of the two.

A driver's breath, blood, and urine can all be examined in a chemical test; however, the method that is used can vary depending on the situation at hand. For example, if the law enforcement officer suspects impairment from alcohol, then he or she will likely administer a breath test to determine intoxication. If the law enforcement officer suspects impairment from drugs, then he or she may be more likely to administer a blood test for assessment of intoxicated driving.

At the time that a suspect is asked to submit to any type of chemical test for the purpose of determining his or level of intoxication there is always the opportunity to refuse such an assessment. Doing so, however, can result in serious consequences for the driver. Any DUI suspect who refuses to submit to a state-administered chemical test could be issued a "hard suspension of driver's license," which is a one-year driver's license suspension without permitted allowances for driving to and from work, school, church, doctor's appointments, etc.

Only an administrative hearing that is scheduled within ten business days from the time that the driver was pulled over can potentially prevent against hard suspension of a driver's license. If the suspect's situation is viewed favorably at the hearing, then a driver's license suspension of this nature can be avoided. The same is true of drivers who are not ultimately found guilty at trial, as well as those who plead guilty to reckless driving and those who are able to convince the driver to withdraw the Form 1205 from the Department of Driver Services.

Knowing the implications of refusing a chemical test in the state of Georgia can certainly make the decision to reject such a test a more difficult one. Depending on the circumstances at hand, it can be hard to know whether a refusal would further jeopardize a defendant's case or not. In general, the situation can vary greatly depending on the unique aspects of the case. Therefore, it's wise to approach a situation of this nature knowing everything there is to know about the repercussions and implications of any potential actions that might be taken.

Breath test machines can malfunction!

Anyone who submits to a chemical test such as the breath test should be aware of the fact that the machines used to conduct these assessments can – and do – malfunction. As such, Georgia state law allows for all persons who submit to this type of state-administered test to also be tested by an independent provider of their choice.

Rather than refusing a test of this nature, it is sometimes beneficial to submit to the test and then challenge the results in court if need be. No matter what decision you make, however, you can always enlist the supportive legal defense of an Atlanta DUI lawyer at The Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub. Under the guidance of an attorney at our firm, a strong defense can be built for the purpose of challenging the DUI allegations that you are currently facing.

Contact an Atlanta DUI attorney at our office today.