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Category: DUI Laws

New Advice on Whether to “Take the Test” After DUI Arrest

For many years, I have advised people to “refuse” to take a State blood, breath or urine test after arrest if they thought they might register above the legal limit of .08.  Now, due to changing conditions, we must rethink that position.

Georgia law says that if you are arrested for DUI, you are “required” to take a test of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance. However, you do have the right to “refuse” to take such test(s). If you take the test(s), you have a right to an independent test of blood, breath, urine, or “other bodily substance.”

should you take test after dui arrest

The question of whether to take a state test after arrest has always been a troublesome one. On one hand, Georgia law says that when you “refuse” to take a test, your license could be suspended for a full year. That is known as an administrative license suspension (ALS) and must be initiated by the arresting officer.   So, if you could get past the license hearing, you had done yourself a favor by not providing the State with your blood alcohol level.

The problem is, we are seeing more and more cops showing up for the ALS hearing and insisting that our clients sign an agreement whereby the client agrees to plead guilty to the DUI, and the cop then agrees to withdraw any one year suspension.  These agreements, under a recent Georgia case, can now be admitted into evidence against you, if you decide to go back on the agreement and fight the DUI.

Georgia law says that if you refuse testing, then “NO TEST SHALL BE GIVEN.” However, the legislature changed the license law a few years ago to add that nothing in the law would prevent a police officer from “obtaining evidence by other means”.  Recently, some police agencies have started obtaining search warrants to forcibly draw a person’s blood if that person has refused to agree to a State breath or blood test. Not only that, but these officers are also seeking a one year license suspension even after obtaining the suspect’s blood!

While there are currently legal actions arguing that a person or driver’s rights are violated by these forced blood draws, we must take another look at our options when deciding whether to take the test or not.

If you refuse to take the test, not only are you subject to losing your license for a full year with no permit, you may also have your blood drawn, with the results able to be used against you.

Once you do take the designated State tests, you are entitled to an independent test of your own choosing of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances . Once you request an independent test of your choosing, the officer must “reasonably accommodate your request, or otherwise the State test cannot be used against you.  As I am not aware as to whether the State is capable of testing “other bodily substances” for blood alcohol level, you might consider requesting an independent test of a bodily substance other than blood, breath or urine.

I would suggest you specifically request a test of either hair or saliva. Then, the burden shifts to the officer to reasonably accommodate your request. For more information, contact me, Mickey Roberts. Be sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for Georgia law updates and news.

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a DUI Lawyer

It’s an understatement to say that being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can be an overwhelming experience. Even in the first moments, you begin to consider what the next step should be.  According to Georgia DUI attorney Mickey Roberts, the logical next step is to find a great lawyer who can address your case effectively and professionally. Below, he provides five key points that should be brought up when selecting your DUI attorney.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Thoroughly learn the lawyer’s background and experience. Inquire about where they attended law school and their time of graduation, as well any membership in bar organizations and length of practice.
  1. Get a feel for their client base. How long has the lawyer been representing clients facing DUI? Is it their specialty, or just something done on the side? How many clients are represented each year?
  1. Their success is your business. Ask about their success rate within the court, and welcome feedback on your case so they can understand the charges and if they believe they can take you on as a client. If you’re satisfied with the amount of cases won, it’s a good indicator that this is a trustworthy lawyer for you.
  1. Assess your case. Lay out the details of your arrest and the charges you’re currently facing. Ask the lawyer what they would recommend in terms of a guilty plea or trial. Request for them to lay out the factors in your case that work in your favor or against you to determine how the DUI lawyer will aggressively defend you in court.
  1. Consider the cost. Yes, DUI arrests can be expensive. But think about the possible outcomes: you could lose your driver’s license, experience an increase in insurance premiums, DUI school, fines, and possible jail time. And of course it costs money to hire a lawyer.

After meeting with your potential attorney, evaluate. Consider what you heard about their experience, success rates, and applicable fees. Do your research. If you believe the attorney will fight hard for your case and value your triumph over your charges, hire them! To contact a reputable DUI in Georgia, call Mickey Roberts. Be sure to follow Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for traffic law updates and news.

Are You a First Time DUI Offender? Here’s What You Should Do Next

Your first DUI arrest can be an anxious time. You have just endured being arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail—probably not the fun time you imagined upon heading out for the night. If you are wondering what typically happens in your case, let Georgia DUI attorney Mickey Roberts lead you to the path of successfully dealing with DUIs when it’s your first time.

arrested for dui First, it is important to hire an experienced DUI lawyer who has a reputation in the legal community as aggressively and successfully defending DUIs. It’s important to acquire a lawyer who also has long standing professional relationships with police officers, judges, and prosecutors.

When you were arrested for DUI, you should receive a citation for your DUI charges which will have your initial court date on it. You may also have received a “1205 form”, which is a 30 day permit to drive and is also notice that the State will try to suspend your license BEFORE your court date.

Once you have hired an experienced lawyer, a “10 day” letter will be sent to Driver’s Services immediately, which will keep your license valid past the first 30 day period. Additionally, an “open records request” to the State will be sent, requesting all of the evidence they have that relates to your case. Once the evidence is received, a report which outlines any possible defenses and the recommendations on how to proceed with your case will be sent. The initial goal of your lawyer is to look for any possible means to win your case, giving you enough information upon which you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

At some point in time you’ll be given several options, which will include pleading guilty, pleading to a “lesser offense”, or fighting your case with either a bench or jury trial.  Mickey Roberts can help you make a decision by also providing you with information relative to license suspension, possible sentence and possible ramifications with changes to your driving record and license, insurance, employment loss.

Not only can hiring a qualified, knowledgeable DUI attorney be beneficial to winning your case, it can also make the process less confusing. If you are arrested for DUI or other serious traffic matters, contact MrGaDUI today. Also be sure to follow Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.

What Happens When You Are Arrested for DUI?

Whether you have been arrested for DUI (Driving under the Influence) for the first time or multiple times, you may be wondering how the DUI process works and exactly what you should be doing NOW.  Below, DUI attorney Mickey Roberts details step-by-step what happens when you’re stopped for suspicion of DUI.

  1. After suspicion or probable cause (for example, operating your vehicle in an unusual or illegal manner), an officer stops your vehicle and requests you to pull over before obtaining your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance card.
  2. After providing the police with your license and insurance, tell the officer you are invoking your 4th Amendment rights. Also tell him/her that you are invoking your 5th Amendment rights as well.
  3. If the officer suspects you are under the influence of alcohol, you will be asked to submit to field sobriety tests such as horizontal gaze, walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand evaluations.
  4. Following the field sobriety tests, if the officer suspects nothing, you will be released. However, if the officer has probable cause, you will be placed under DUI arrest and taken to the police station. You will be asked to submit chemical testing of breath, blood, or urine.
  5. … Do NOT refuse to take the State chemical tests UNLESS you have had enough alcohol to be above the .08 limit. If you refuse to take the test, your license could be suspended for one year.
  6. If you are under 21, or this is not your first DUI in five years, it is recommended that you refuse to take any state chemical test of blood, breath, or urine. Otherwise, request a blood test and independent breath test with another police department immediately after arrest, and then take the state test(s). Do not refuse to the take the State test outright or your license will be suspended for one year.
  7. Once in custody, invoke your right to an attorney—however, you are not guaranteed the right to call an attorney for advice on a roadside stop. Memorize and print your legal rights NOW to avoid problems at the scene.
  8. You are required to post bond and may be incarcerated until bond is posted.
  9. Your vehicle may be towed, impounded, or seized.
  10. Keep in mind: If you register over .08 on the state chemical test or refuse completion, you only have ten business days from the arrest to request a hearing from the department of Public Safety before your driver’s license will be inevitably suspended.


Stay tuned for a blog coming soon for more on what happens after your arrest. If you are arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.

DUI Defined: What is a DUI in Georgia?

There are many types of DUIs (driving under the influence) in Georgia, but the most common type is that a person is “driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

Police Officer - Eye Coordination

What does it mean, legally, to be “under the influence?” Firstly, it means that you are less safe to drive than if you had not consumed alcohol or drugs. But, hey, that depends on the person’s tolerance, right? So, according to the Pattern Jury Charges that judges in Georgia read to jurors before deliberating, this is what “less safe” means:

A person is less safe to drive when that person is less efficient, less skillful, less coherent, less able, and less proficient to drive a car.

Take notice: there is nothing that describes “less safe” as having your eyes jerk (examined by the Hortizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test) or performing gymnastic floor exercises recognized as field sobriety tests.  There is no indication about bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or the smell of alcohol. The definition also does not mention anything about alcohol or drug blood levels.  The definition has to do with whether a person’s fine motor skills have been affected so much that they cannot effectively drive a car.

So, the next time you are on a jury and are asked to decide if someone was the DUI-version of “less safe”, remember the context of driving ability. Is there evidence that the person was able, efficient, skilful or proficient while driving the car? Or is there simply collateral evidence that may or may not have anything to do with actual driving skill?

If you are arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.  


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Disclaimer

The above information is intended to help educate members of the Georgia motoring public as to their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting those rights. Information within this site should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
DUI Laws