Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Dancing with the Stars Champion Hines Ward was recently in the news after he was arrested in DeKalb County for allegedly driving under the influence
. He was pulled over after swerving and hitting a curb. According to the police report, Ward smelled like alcohol and performed poorly on field sobriety tests including the portable breath test and balance tests. He was released from custody after posting bail, and is now dealing with the consequences of DUI allegations including potential suspension from his position in the NFL and media backlash against another athlete in trouble.
While Ward’s case is highlighted because he is a public figure, there are aspects of his case that can help others in the same situation. The first step in avoiding a DUI arrest is prevention. Make plans to have a designated driver or cab come pick you up after a night of drinking.
First, Ward should not have submitted to any of the roadside field tests. If you are stopped and suspected of DUI in the state of Georgia, you are not legally required to take any field sobriety tests
. Therefore, you should never submit to any roadside field sobriety tests including the horizontal gaze, walk-and-turn, or one-leg-stand tests. At a hearing or trial, the officer who initially pulled Ward over will be able to use these roadside field tests against Ward as proof of Ward’s inability to operate a car safely.
After the arrest, Ward refused to take a state administered breath test. While you do have the right to decline such test, your refusal allows the police officer to begin the process of suspending your license for a year known as administrative license suspension
. By refusing to take the state chemical test
, you can possibly lose your driver’s license for a year with no work permit!
If you refuse to take the state chemical test or submit to the test and your blood alcohol level
registers over .08 (or above .02 if you’re under 21), you have 10 business days to request a hearing. Not requesting a hearing with the Department of Driver Services can result in the loss of your driver’s license automatically.
Hines Ward could have helped himself by not providing evidence to the police by submitting to any roadside tests. Whether he should have taken the state chemical test after arrest is still a question only he can answer; if he had consumed enough alcohol to register above a .08, perhaps he made the right decision by not taking the test. Ward has hired a competent DUI defense lawyer to represent him in this case.
When it comes to choosing an attorney, remember to choose based on the particular attorney’s education, years of experience, and recent results. Mickey Roberts
of MR GA DUI
can help you with traffic law cases from speeding tickets to DUI. Contact us
now for more information including a list of drivers’ rights
in Georgia and to view testimonials
from Georgia DUI clients.