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What to Do if You’re Suspected of DUI

Atlanta DUI Lawyers | Georgia DUI Law

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Pulled Over for Georgia DUI? What you Should Do

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 driving under the influence, you are likely to be arrested and taken to jail if there is an odor of alcohol on your breath. 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 that make a difference 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 its 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 made from an accused’s refusal to complete field evaluations, they are generally not favorable, even for sober individuals. Young people and athletic people 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 of guilt via refusal.

You May Take the Handheld Breathalyzer

Results from a handheld breathalyzer are only admissible in court as a positive or negative reading; the numerical result is not admissible. You have probably admitted to drinking anyway and many police will let you go if you blow under 0.08 legal limit 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. Success in a DUI case often depends on proving that the police violated your rights through incorrect procedure or shaky knowledge of Georgia DUI laws.

Breath, Blood, or Urine Tests

There are reasons to take a State-administered test and reasons not to take one. 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 be considered 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, call a DUI lawyer as soon as possible, even if it is only for a free consultation. Beware of attorneys quoting unreasonably low fees. An attorney offering low fees usually means that they will try to push you to plead 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. 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 who have a job and established credit but do not have access to capital.

We are here to help. Call TODAY (404) 333-0706, or email us at firm@georgialawyer.com.