What to do if you are pulled over for a suspected DUI
I wish there was no such thing as a “drunk driver,” but unfortunately every year a large number of people find themselves charged with a DUI. I have family and friends in the area and I would be devastated if any of them were injured or killed by a drunk driver. If you have been drinking or plan to drink, please call a cab, Uber, or Lyft. It will be the best $80 you spent because my initial retainer is substantially higher. If you do find that you are accused of a DUI, I want you to know what your rights are, and I am here to help you navigate this complex and frightening situation. Please do not hesitate to call me. We are not here to judge, we are here to help you resolve your legal matters in the best possible way.
Avoid getting a DUI record
A DUI is one of the most complicated cases that appear in a criminal court. These cases are complicated because there are several complicated issues wrapped up inside a DUI case and each of these has to be resolved in favor of the State in order to convict someone. If any aspect of the arrest, investigation, or trial is flawed, then the Defendant may be acquitted. These issues include the original reason for the stop by the officer, the roadside field sobriety evaluation, the science behind the breathalyzer or blood test, and how the facts are presented to the jury. .
This is how you should react during a DUI pullover
It is important to keep in mind the facts used in the defense of a DUI begin with the decisions you make as soon as the blue lights come on in your rearview mirror. It is important that you always be polite and respectful. Answer the officer with “yes” or “no” responses and remember you always have the right to remain silent. In my experience, when reviewing videotapes of arrests, it is often clear that an individual’s lack of CAPACITY to remain silent often is used against them in a court of law.
The sobriety test: Blow or not to blow?
The number one question I get in DUI cases is “should I blow” when offered the breathalyzer test. Of course, the answer depends on what the result will be when you do blow. Keep in mind that any refusal to provide a breath sample will likely result in a hard one-year suspension of your license. Under the implied consent laws of the State of Georgia, if you carry a license and drive on State roads, you are consenting to give your breath sample when requested during a lawful arrest. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test results in the State withdrawing your privilege to drive. It is important that you think long and hard about the possible consequences of your decision.
What to expect if it is your first DUI
Generally, if this is your first DUI, and you have only had one drink, then it is a safe bet to go ahead and blow. First of all, you should be under the limit of 0.08 BAC. Your case may more easily be reduced to “reckless driving” if you are under a 0.08. If you are over a 0.08, a person convicted of first-time DUI is allowed to request an affidavit of a first conviction, which under general circumstances will result in a limited permit to get to and from work and school for the first 120 days after a plea. Thereafter, you can reinstate your license after paying a fee and showing proof of completion of a Risk Reduction class.
A second or subsequent DUI is VERY serious
If it is your second or later DUI you will likely receive no benefit of the doubt in your case and a conviction will likely result in a much stiffer penalty. You will not be entitled to a limited permit, and you will lose your license for a year. In that case, if you are above a 0.08, it’s often better to not blow, thereby denying the State a crucial piece of evidence for a conviction. Unfortunately, a DUI is one of the few charges where the State is allowed to tell the jury about your past history. The jury will know about your prior DUI convictions and pleas.
Follow these steps if you get arrested for a DUI
The officer will read a script from his age-appropriate implied consent card if you are arrested for DUI. That script will include language which allows you to request a blood test to confirm the alcohol concentration. This is a right you have under the law but understand: (a) it is at your expense, and (b) the right exists only AFTER you have submitted to the test requested by the officer, which is almost always the breathalyzer test. Do not refuse to submit to the breath test with the expectation that you can do a blood test instead.
As you wrap up your Thanksgiving day feast or office holiday party, try to avoid drinking and driving. Let us all have a happy and safe holiday. If you do drink, call a cab, Uber, Lyft, or ask a friend to drive. However, if you do find yourself facing a charge of DUI, know that you can call Rohan Law. We have the experience and knowledge to help you through the process and help you achieve the best results. Call us at (404) 205-8922 or book your consultation online here.