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Athens GA DUI Law Blog

Can a breath test result be challenged?

Law enforcement officers have many tools available to them when they suspect a driver of operating a vehicle under the influence. Depending on numerous factors, the officer can perform a chemical test, a breath test or a field sobriety test. After a positive result, a driver might fear the worst – license suspension, fines or even jail time. Fortunately, while breath test results might seem like an insurmountable challenge, it is possible to build a strong defense that questions the validity and reliability of those results.

How reliable are chemical tests?

After getting pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, a police officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests. While these tests don’t measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), they give police officers probable cause to arrest you for drunk driving.

When facing a DUI charge, you may have to submit to chemical testing under Georgia’s implied consent law to determine how much alcohol is in your system.

Refusing a breathalyzer test can’t be used against you in court

It’s OK to feel disoriented if a law enforcement officer pulls you over and asks if you’ve been drinking. It’s a nerve-wracking situation, and you don’t want to inadvertently say or do the wrong thing because you’re nervous.

One particular part of the law has recently become more clear, however. Because of a 2019 court ruling, you can refuse to take a breathalyzer test – and choosing to do so can not be used against you in court.

'Sober bars' are becoming increasingly popular

Sometimes it seems like alcohol is available just about everywhere -- from hair salons to dentists' offices and beyond. Unfortunately, in low-income areas, it can often be easier to find a liquor store than a grocery store.

However, there's also a distinctly contradictory trend emerging in this country -- alcohol-free social gathering spots. There are even "sober bars" where people can get together with friends to visit or watch a game without alcohol. Some concerts and other events have substance-free zones designated with yellow balloons.

Understanding "reasonable suspicion" and DUIs

Unless you happen to be driving on a road where a DUI checkpoint has been set up, officers need to have a reasonable suspicion that a driver is impaired in order to pull them over for suspected DUI.

Once a driver has been stopped, officers can administer a Breathalyzer test and other field sobriety tests to more accurately determine whether they're intoxicated. However, if an officer didn't have an adequate cause to have reasonable suspicion, any evidence obtained after the stop could be tossed out -- along with the case.

What to know before choosing your designated driver in Georgia

One of the most often repeated tips for intoxicated party goers is to have a designated driver on hand in case they drink a little too much. You could take turns in your friend group to see who should lay off the cocktails that night or see if there are any family members or friends nearby who can give you a ride.

However, you and your friends aren’t completely safe yet. If an officer forces your group to pull over, you can still get in trouble even if your designated driver was sober. It is important for you and your friends to understand what laws you may break depending on your driver choice during your night out.

Tips for staying sober on the 4th of July

Many Americans can't imagine celebrating the Fourth of July without alcohol. Beer, wine and stronger beverages are a part of many pool parties, backyard barbecues and fireworks celebrations.

Too often, people lose track of how much they've had to drink over the course of a Fourth of July celebration. They may get behind the wheel thinking that they can safely drive (and maybe they can). However, if they're pulled over by one of the many law enforcement officers on the roads that day, they can find themselves over the legal limit and under arrest.

Will next year bring more alcohol sales at Sanford Stadium?

University of Georgia football fans have not been able to consume alcohol openly in Sanford Stadium unless they were one of the lucky few who had seats in a skybox or private suite. Beginning next year, however, Bulldogs supporters may be able to buy alcohol inside the stadium.

Late last month, the chancellors and presidents of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) overturned the ban on alcohol sales within athletic facilities. They voted to allow universities to establish their own individual alcohol policies, although only beer and wine can be sold. The new policy will be effective Aug. 1.

A DUI in Georgia can send you to DUI school

Georgia’s DUI laws have a reputation for being especially strict, whether rightly or wrongly.

The best way to stay out of their way, of course, is to drive sober. It’s also critical to know your rights in any traffic stop and remember that legal representation is one of those rights.

Georgia man arrested for DUI on lawnmower

You don't have to drive a car, truck or even a motorcycle to be arrested for DUI. One Bolingbroke man learned that lesson the hard way. He was arrested on April 25 when he drove his lawnmower to a local gas station to buy beer.

According to the Monroe County sheriff, the man was arrested at a gas station located off GA Highway 19 South. Apparently, someone saw him driving the lawnmower down the highway and called the sheriff's office because they believed he was intoxicated. The sheriff says that sometimes situations aren't what witnesses describe. However, in this case, "the caller was exactly right -- there was an intoxicated man on a lawnmower driving down the road."