George C. Creal Jr., P.C.,
Suspected of DUI? | (404) 333-0706
Unfortunately, if you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence there is no easy answer as to what you should do or how you should act. Most of the time even if you are not technically DUI, if there is an odor of alcohol on your breath you are likely to be arrested and taken to jail. If the police cannot arrest you for DUI per se (blowing over 0.08), they'll most likely arrest you for DUI less safe: blowing under the legal limit, but being "less safe" to drive because of the presence of alcohol or drugs. In the end, don't panic and provide as little evidence as possible.
Some factors to consider are jurisdiction of arrest, law enforcement agency of arrest, and number
of drinks. The basic rule of thumb in a DUI case is that a DUI with
a State administered breath or blood test is harder to win at trial
than a case without a test. Compared to sobriety evaluations, a State-administered Breath or Blood test, despite it's own inconsistencies, is considered more reliable proof of driving under the influence.
Field Evaluations: Generally, there is no benefit to taking field evaluations like the One Leg Stand, Nine Step Walk and Turn, Alphabet Recitation, Finger to Nose, Five Finger Dexterity Test etc. Although an inference can be taken from refusal to complete field evaluations, they are generally not favorable even for sober individuals. The very young and athletic are generally the only individuals who successfully perform field evaluations. There may be instances though, where agreeing to certain field evaluations may help your case, as refusing every procedure offered by police creates a strong inference a guilt via refusal.
- You May Take the Handheld Breathalyzer: Results from a handheld breathalyzer are not admissible as a numerical result in court, but only as positive or negative reading for alcohol. You have probably admitted drinking anyway and many police will let you go if you blow under 0.08 legal limt on the handheld, pre-arrest breath test.
- Do Not Take the Eye Test commonly referred to as the HGN test. It rarely helps you.
- Ask lots of Questions: If you are not slurring your speech, ask a lot of questions. Ask for an attorney, ask what happens if you do not take the field evaluations, ask what happens if you blow under the legal limit; ask, if you take a State-administered test, if you should take an independent or additional test of your blood, breath or urine. If you are not slurring your speech, keep asking questions. In many instances success in a DUI case depends on proving the police violated your rights through incorrect procedure or shaky knowledge of GA DUI statute.
Breath, Blood, or Urine Tests: There are reasons to take a State-administered test and reasons not to take a test. If you want to fight your DUI in court, it is generally better to not take any tests unless you have had little or no drugs or alcohol. For those under 21 years of age and those with a second or greater DUI in five years, there is no benefit to taking any state test. For those who have consumed 1-3 12 oz beers, 1 oz liquor drinks, or 4 oz glasses of wine, a test will most likely be under the legal limit. If it is your first DUI and losing your license is worse than a DUI conviction, taking the test may be the best option.
- Speak in Short, Concise Sentences: Be clear and speak only when absolutely necessary. Remember, you are probably being both filmed and recorded during the entire process: stop, arrest, intake, and detention. Stay away from rambling diatribes or life stories. If you are pulled over and have alcohol on your breath you are probably going to jail regardless. The best course of action is to start preparing for trial from the very beginning: assume the worst, because the police are. From the moment you are pulled over for suspected DUI, the police are simply getting ready for trial.
- Do Not Tell Police About Your Prescriptions: Prescription pills can equal a DUI. There is established precedent that doctor's orders are not a viable defense against DUI
- Call a DUI Lawyer ASAP: A DUI can be nerve-racking and we know that detainees sometimes do not have easy access to a phone until they're released, but as soon as possible call a DUI lawyer if only for a basic free consultation. Beware of attorneys quoting unreasonably low fees. Low fees usually mean the attorney will be looking to push you to pleading guilty without any "proper" representation. A good way to judge if you're dealing with a "plea lawyer" is to calculate their hourly charge. Less money equals less time, and although we understand that higher prices don't necessarily correlate to better lawyers, lower prices usually correlate to shyster lawyers. We handle a large volume of DUIs and take advantage of economies of scale to offer top quality legal representation at a reasonable price. We think justice should be affordable and offer payment plans to those without access to capital but with a job and established credit.