Getting arrested for DUI in Georgia is scary. It can become even scarier when you realize that you don’t know your rights. You won’t know whether the police are acting within the law or if you’re incriminating yourself. You should pay attention to your entire interaction with the police. That way, you can give your DUI defense lawyer in Atlanta all the information they need to successfully defend you. If you’re not sure what should happen following an arrest for driving under the influence in Georgia, keep reading.
Getting Arrested for a DUI in Georgia
There are two reasons why police can charge you with a DUI in Georgia. You may be most familiar with DUI Per Se. This is when your blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit. If you’re 21 years old or older and driving a regular passenger vehicle, your BAC must be under 0.08%. However, if you’re operating a commercial vehicle, you’re breaking the law if your BAC is 0.04% or higher. Meanwhile, if you’re under the age of 21, you shouldn’t be drinking at all. Therefore, the state takes a zero-tolerance approach, and police can arrest you if your BAC is 0.02% or higher.
The other type of DUI is DUI Less Safe. A law enforcement officer can arrest you if they believe your driving is impaired because of alcohol consumption. It doesn’t matter what your BAC is. Even if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, the officer can arrest you for this offense. Signs of impaired driving include speeding, reckless driving, and weaving in and out of traffic. The officer will also look for other indicators like open containers and the smell of alcohol.
Once the officer determines that you’re driving under the influence, they will arrest you and take you to the police station. After additional blood, urine or breath tests, they will book you.
Rights After Being Arrested for DUI in Georgia
Your rights are quite limited when you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia. However, working with a DUI lawyer in Atlanta, GA can help to ensure no one takes advantage of you. You have the right to call an attorney when you arrive at the jail. Some of the other rights you have are:
- The right to remain silent during and after your arrest. Even statements that may seem innocent to you can be used against you. Also, your actions and statements may be recorded on audio or video while you’re in the police vehicle.
- The right to a phone call after you’ve been booked. This will be your first opportunity to call an attorney or a parent.
- The right to refuse a chemical test. Because of Georgia’s implied consent laws, you agree to testing simply by driving on state roads. You can still refuse the test, but you will receive a license suspension.
- The right to demand an independent chemical test after you’ve taken the state’s tests.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
Every DUI case has its own peculiarities. When you contact an attorney, they will look into the facts of your case and prepare a suitable defense. If the cops had no grounds for stopping or arresting you, any evidence they collected will be thrown out. The case against you would likely be dismissed entirely. Your lawyer may also file a motion to suppress other evidence if it was tainted or obtained illegally.
Meanwhile, they will rely on other evidence to mount a defense. Depending on the circumstances, this may include:
- The police report
- Footage of your stop, tests, and arrest
- Dashcam or body cam videos
- Your criminal history
- Your driving history
- Breathalyzer test reports
These will help to support various defenses including:
- Illegal stop
- Flaws in the administration of the field sobriety test
- Problems with the breathalyzer test or blood test
- The fact that you weren’t driving
In most cases, you won’t have to go to trial. While it would be ideal to avoid conviction entirely, this isn’t always possible. If the stop and arrest were legal and you were drunk, there will be consequences. Sometimes, attorneys can negotiate a plea deal and get the charge reduced to one of dangerous driving. If that’s not possible, they may help you avoid jail time and get you the lowest possible fine.
Let the Attorneys at Howard & Arca Assist You
If you are facing DUI charges in Atlanta, we can help you get the best possible outcome. We’ll look into your case and determine if your rights were violated in any way. If there’s a way to get the charges dropped, our Atlanta DUI lawyers will pursue it. Otherwise, we’ll do everything we can to minimize your punishment for DUI. Schedule your consultation today!