Law changes may help present a DUI defense

Georgia residents are probably familiar with the Breathalyzer test. This is a way for law enforcement to immediately detect if a driver is under the influence. Previously, if a Georgia driver refused to take one of these tests, prosecutors could use the refusal as evidence in court. A new ruling has changed this procedure, which may help accused drivers present a DUI defense in court.

The new ruling overturns a prior law that required drivers to submit to a Breathalyzer test if police determined they may be under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel. If a driver refused the test, prosecutors could use the refusal as evidence against a driver attempting to present a DUI defense in court. Georgia lawmakers have now determined that this violates rights set forth by the constitution, under the category of self-incrimination. 

Now, with the new ruling in effect, police officers must obtain a warrant to make a driver submit to a blood or urine test upon refusal to take a Breathalyzer test. It is estimated that over 10,000 drivers have had their licenses suspended solely based on refusal to submit to a Breathalyzer test. There is no word yet on whether the recent ruling can apply to drivers previously convicted of DUI where a Breathalyzer refusal was used as evidence against a defendant in a court of law. 

Being accused of a DUI can be scary. Fortunately, all persons accused will have the opportunity to present a DUI defense. Drivers accused of DUI may not be aware of the new ruling, so they may want to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney is likely to be up to date on the latest laws and can be of assistance when the time comes to face a court of law. 

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