If you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia, a police officer may ask you to submit to a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test. While you could be subject to additional penalties if you say no, you do have the right to refuse these tests. However, some police departments in Atlanta and throughout Georgia may request a warrant for a blood test after a drunk-driving arrest if you refuse to take a chemical test.
Chemical tests are very important in a DUI case. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher, you can be charged with drunk driving in Georgia (the limit is .02% for underage drivers and .04% for commercial vehicle operators). The prosecutor will then use the results of your chemical test to prove that you are guilty of driving under the influence. Without these results, the prosecution must rely on the arresting officer’s testimony about your behavior and appearance during your traffic stop as well as any videotape evidence. Because the officer’s observations are more subjective than BAC results, the prosecution generally prefers to have a chemical test as evidence.
To make it easier to convict drunk drivers, some police departments in Georgia will contact a State Court judge and ask for a search warrant if they have enough probable cause to establish that a suspect is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Probable cause is typically based on the officer’s observations; if he or she notices slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, open container, or the smell of alcohol, it can be used as evidence.
If a Georgia DUI blood test warrant is obtained by the officer, the blood test will be administered at the jail. Once the blood is drawn, the officer will send the sample to the State Crime lab for analysis. The results of this test, along with the officer’s testimony, will be used as evidence during the DUI case.
If you were arrested for DUI in Atlanta or in Georgia and an officer obtained a warrant for your blood test, you should speak with a skilled DUI lawyer as quickly as possible. Even if your BAC was over the legal limit, there may be several potential defenses that can help your case. Your lawyer will determine not only if the search warrant was valid but if your test was administered properly.
For more information on Georgia DUI blood warrants and how to fight your drunk-driving charges, please submit your case information online today.