If you get pulled over by the police, an officer may ask to carry out a breath test, a blood test or a urine test after they have arrested you to see if you are under the influence. Maybe the reason for the traffic stop is that the officer believes you have been drinking. They want to administer this test to check your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
People may tell you that you do not have to submit to this test, and that is technically true. You can refuse the test. However, you will be subjected to automatic ramifications for this refusal due to Georgia’s implied consent laws.
What are implied consent laws?
The basic idea of implied consent is that all drivers have to agree to provide evidence for these tests when they get a driver’s license. If you are on the road with a valid license, whether you realize it or not, you’ve already given consent to take these tests. Your refusal will then violate that consent, which gives the authorities the right to take action.
What are the penalties?
If you do refuse a test after you’ve been arrested, your driver’s license is going to be suspended. This will happen for a minimum of a year. Additionally, if your case ends up in court, then the refusal to take the test can be submitted as evidence against you. The license suspension for failing the breath test and the suspension for being convicted of a first-time DUI are similar, with a minimum of a one-year suspension.
Exploring your options
As you can see, it’s possible to face serious ramifications related to drunk driving, even if you do not submit to a blood or breath test, simply because of how the laws are set up in Georgia. If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to understand all of the defense options at your disposal and to seek legal guidance as soon as possible.