Humphrey Law and Associates, LLC specializes in DUI defense. Driving Under The Influence is a serious offense in Georgia. Whether an individual is driving under the influence of alcohol or of drugs the charges and consequences are serious. Although an individual may have been charged with a DUI, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving under the influence.

FAQ-

Q. What evidence will the State use to try to prove its case? 

A. In Georgia every State Patrol squad car is equipped with a dash camera that is used to record the officer pulling your vehicle over and your subsequent field sobriety tests.

Q. What are field sobriety tests?

. Field sobriety tests are widely accepted tests that officers use to determine impairment. Although your overall performance of the test may cause the officer to charge you with DUI, the test is not conclusive for a conviction and may be fought in court. 

Q. I took the breath test and blew over the legal limit, do I even need to hire a lawyer?

A. Absolutely! There are many defenses and challenges to the breath test results.

IF you have been charged with a DUI in Georgia, it is important to obtain excellent legal representation to fight the charge due to the technical nature of a driving under the influence defense. 

The two main tests the police will use to determine if you were driving drunk are the following;

  • The field sobriety test
  • Chemical blood and breath test

Field Sobriety Test and other symptoms of being drunk

The police officer will look for specific symptoms associated with intoxication such slurred speech, red watery eyes, the odor of alcohol on your breath and clothes.

If the police officer detects any of the symptoms, they will likely ask you to exit your vehicle and conduct a field sobriety test.

The field sobriety test is usually conducted at the scene where you were stopped by the police.

The field sobriety test usually includes a series of simple physical and mental tests such as:

  • Nystagmus test, which checks the eyes for lateral or horizontal jerking when the eye gazes to the side.
  • recite the alphabet forward and backwards
  • stand feet together, arms at sides, tilt head back, close eyes, and count to 30, then open eyes and drop head back down
  • stand and listen to instructions, then walk in a straight line, turn around, and walk back towards the officer
  • stand with your feet together, tip your head back, close your eyes, and touch your nose with the tip of your index finger as directed by the officer

Remember that when taking a field sobriety test, all your actions are being recorded by the officer and possibly by a camera mounted in the police cruiser. Stay calm, polite, and respectful throughout the ordeal.

DUI-

It is legal to refuse to take any of the field sobriety tests. Given the subjective nature of the tests, it is often recommended that you politely refuse to take them. However, this means you will probably be arrested and subjected to a chemical blood test. Refusal to take a chemical test may results insuspension of driving privileges for at least one year.

Chemical Blood and Breath Test

Chemical blood tests analyze your breath, blood, or urine to determine Blood Alcohol concentration.

If your BAC is .08 percent or higher, you are considered legally under the influence and will be charged with a DUI.Blood and urine tests are usually conducted at a hospital.

A breath test can be conducted either at the place you were pulled over, a hospital, or a detention center. Though usually the breath test is at the police station.

There are two types of breath tests: Pre and post arrest.

A pre-arrest breath test is usually conducted at the roadside where you were stopped by the police, and uses a portable hand-held device called a breathalyzer.

It is recommended you politely refuse this test. This is perfectly legal. A blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent obtained from a chemical test will result in you being charged with a DUI. But it does not mean you are, or will be, found guilty of a DUI.

Even with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more, the DUI lawyer you hire will know many valid reasons that can be used in your DUI Defense

 

DUI (Georgia DUI Statute:  § 40-6-391)

CHECKLIST FOR Humphrey Law, and Associates, LLC

                              

Current BAC levels in Georgia;

Under 21 = .02% 

21 or older =.08%

Commercial =.04%

Like most states GA has a Zero Tolerance for DUI offenders. Every DUI conviction produces a suspended license. However, some drivers are eligible for limited driving through a limited driving permit. This allows you to travel to and from:

  • Your place of employment, or to perform employment-related tasks.
     
  • Scheduled doctor appointments and to fill prescriptions.
     
  • College or other school courses.
     
  • RRP meetings or other drug and alcohol support groups, assessment courses, and treatment programs.
     

You won’t formally apply for a limited driving permit; your judge will determine whether you’re eligible based on factors like your age, offense number, and how long your license must be suspended (see your penalties below).

  • If your judge grants you a limited driving permit, expect to pay:
     
  • Limited permit: $25
     
  • Limited permit renewal: $5
     
  • Limited permit replacement: $20
     
  • Controlled substance permit: $25
     
  • Habitual Violator probationary license (HVPL): $210
     
  • HVPL replacement: $20
     
  • Understand that if you violate any of the conditions of your limited permit, the judge will revoke it and tack 6 months onto your original suspension period.
     

Drivers Age 15 and Younger

First DUI Offense

  • License suspension until 17 years old.
     
  • $210 fee.
     
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and all associated costs.
     

Second DUI Offense

  • License suspension until 18 years old.
     
  • $310 fee.
     
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and all associated costs.
     

Third DUI Offense

  • License suspension until 18 years old.
     
  • $410 fee.
     
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and all associated costs.
     

Drivers Age 16 to 20

First DUI Offense

  • License suspension for 6 months (if your BAC is under 0.08%) or 12 months (if your BAC is 0.08% or higher; this is with or without an administrative license suspension).
     
  • $210 fee.
     
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and all associated costs.
     

Second DUI Offense

  • Regardless of BAC, a second offense within 5 years brings:
     
  • License suspension for 18 months.
     
  • $310 fee.
     
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and all associated costs.
     
  • Clinical evaluation and possible treatment.
     
  • Ignition interlock device and permit with court permission (usually after 120 days).
     

Third DUI Offense

  • A third offense within 5 years brings:
     
  • License suspension for 5 years.
     
  • $410 fee.
     
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and all associated costs.
     
  • Clinical evaluation and possible treatment.
     
  • Ignition interlock device and habitual violator probationary license with court permission (usually after 2 years).
     

DUI Penalties: 21 and Older

First Offense

  • Suspended license for up to 1 year.
     
  • A $300 - $1,000 fine.
     
  • $210 fee for license reinstatement.
     
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and all associated costs.
     
  • Mandatory 40 hours of community service.
     
  • Possible imprisonment of up to 1 year.
     
  • Possible limited driving permit. This depends on your BAC, implied consent, and whether you have an administrative suspended license.
     

Second Offense

  • A second offense within 5 years brings:
     
  • 18 months - 3 years of license suspension.
     
  • A $600 - $1,000 fine.
     
  • $210 fee for license reinstatement.
     
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and all associated costs.
     
  • Clinical evaluation and possible treatment.
     
  • At least 30 days of community service.
     
  • Minimum 48 hours in jail; possible sentence of 90 days to 1 year.
     
  • Possible interlock ignition device.
     
  • Possible limited driving permit. This depends on your BAC, implied consent, and whether you have an administrative suspended license.
     

Third Offense

  • On your third DUI offense, the GA DMV gives you Habitual Violator (HV) status and revokes your license for 5 years and confiscates your license plate (see “Reinstating a Habitual Violator’s License” below).
     
  • You’ll also face:
     
  • A $1,000 - $5,000 fine.
     
  • $410 fee for license reinstatement.
     
  • At least 15 days in jail.
     
  • At least 30 days of mandatory community service.
     
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and all associated costs.
     
  • Clinical evaluation and treatment.
     
  • Possible interlock ignition device and limited driving permit after 2 years.
     
  • Your name, address, and photo published in your local newspaper (you must pay for this)

 

 

10 Day Letter

To avoid license suspension for a year without the chance of receiving a temporary permit it is vital that you submit a 10-day letter to the Department of Driver Safety.

Ifyou refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test or your BAC is greater than .08 or you are an under 21 driver with a BAC of .02 or greater or a CDL Driver with a BAC of .04 and you do not request an administrative license suspension hearing within the 10 business days, your Georgia drivers' license (or privilege to drive in Georgia if you are licensed by another state) will be suspended for one year with no driving permit privileges.

A $150.00 fee payable to the Georgia D.D.S. is required for an Administrative Hearing and must accompany the Hearing Request. If you have been charged with the offense of DUI you have no time to waste your license and freedom is at stake. Contact Your Humphrey Law Attorney Now!
 

 

GEORGIA IMPLIED CONSENT LAW

 Georgia law requires you to take a breath, blood, or urine test if you are arrested for a DUI. Georgia’s “implied consent” law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC).  The test must be taken as soon as possible from the time when you were last driving. The officer gets to choose which test you take.

 

DUI Expungement

A DUI conviction will not be expunged. While there are some states that allow individuals to have a conviction removed from their record after a certain period of time, this option is not available in the State of Georgia. This means a DUI is on your record forever, even if this is your first criminal offense. If you were recently arrested for drunk driving and were considering just pleading guilty in order to get the whole matter behind you, Georgia's lack of record expungement is certainly something to think about before making any important decisions that will greatly impact your future.

Having a DUI on your record can, and will hurt you in a number of ways.  Applying for and keeping a job may be difficult. Going through background checks could cause you to lose valuable professional opportunities. A DUI charge is very serious and thus requires a skilled lawyer to navigate you through the judicial process. Give Your Humphrey Law Attorney a call now if you are faced with a DUI charge.

Once you are arrested the officer must read an implied consent notice to you that says if you refuse to take a chemical test, then your license will be suspended for at least one year and your refusal may be used against you in court. He or she must also explain that if you decide to take a test, then you have the option of asking for another test and you can choose who gives it, at your expense. Finally, the officer must ask you whether you are willing to take a chemical test under the implied consent law.

You can read Georgia’s implied consent law in Georgia Code Section 40-5-55.