What You Should Know About Breathalyzer Tests in Georgia
In Georgia, you may be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.8 percent or higher within three hours of driving or being in control of a moving vehicle. This is true even if your driving ability was not actually impaired.
In addition, you can be charged with DUI for being in control of a moving vehicle while impaired to the point that it’s “less than safe” to drive as a result of ingesting alcohol, drugs or other substances.
Under Georgia law, if you are driving a moving vehicle, you have automatically consented to submitting to chemical tests to determine your BAC level. So if you’re stopped on suspicion of DUI, it’s important to know your rights when it comes to Breathalyzer and chemical tests:
- Your refusal to take a chemical test has consequences: If you refuse to take a Breathalyzer or blood test after being stopped for DUI, you will be subject to license suspensions of one, three or five years for your first, second or third offense, respectively.
- Police must obey regulations regarding timing of testing: Georgia police officers must to measure your BAC within three hours of the last time you drove. However, there are some circumstances in which prosecutors will attempt to prove you were driving under the influence even if officers measured your BAC after this time expired.
- Young drivers face a lower threshold: While the maximum BAC for drivers 21 or older is .08 percent, it is .02 percent for drivers under the age of 21.
In general, you should abide by the requests of police officers to submit to a chemical test if you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI. A failure to do so could negatively affect your defense and may only compound the penalties you ultimately face.
For more information on Breathalyzer tests and DUI laws in Georgia, meet with a dedicated criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Melvin S. Nash. Call the firm at 770.422.0878 or contact us online.