I Want A Blood Test - What about that Independent Test?
Helen Police Officers, Baldwin Police Officers and Braselton Police Officers are required to read you your implied consent rights after arresting you for driving under the influence (DUI). If you were arrested for DUI the officer should have pulled out an orange card and started reading from it. There are 3 different types of warnings (1) under 21; (2) over 21; and (3) CDL.
“Georgia law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs… After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing…”
In the state of Georgia, if you submit to the state test or tests that the officer designates, that is the test at the police station or in a mobile breath alcohol testing unit or a blood test at the jail or hospital. Then you are entitled at the end of that testing to say, “I would like an independent test of my blood, breath, urine or all three”. You do not even have to wait for all the testing to be done before asking for your additional test. If you make any statement that should or does put the officer on notice that you want an additional independent test then you shall be afforded that opportunity, but remember you must first submit to the state test or tests that the officers designates.
The Georgia implied consent law states that you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance. This means you can have multiple additional tests if you would like. You can ask for a blood test, or another breath test or both. Once you have said something similar to “I would like another test or I would like an independent test” and you have first submitted to the state test then you are entitled to those additional tests.
All officers from any agency – Commerce Police, Athens Police or Gainesville Police must reasonably accommodate you. That means the DUI Flowery Branch arresting officer has to take you to the hospital or police station of your choosing. If the hospital requires cash upfront then you may ask the arresting DUI city officer if he will take you by the ATM first or by a family members house to pick up money. The DUI arresting officer must reasonably accommodate you by law. If the officer does not accommodate your lawful request for an independent test then the prosecutor or solicitor cannot use the state administered chemical breath test against you. This means that the test that you took can never be mentioned. Obviously a suppressed test will greatly affect the outcome of your DUI trial.
The reasoning for this is because the implied consent law is designed to protect you. The purpose behind the implied consent law is to allow a driving under the influence (DUI suspect) to obtain an independent test after taking the original test requested by the Gainesville DUI arresting Officer; this procedure helps dissipate any feelings the DUI suspect (you) may have of collusion, fraud, or inaccuracy in the state-administered testing, and also enables the suspect to obtain independent evidence to refute a possible erroneous state test result. For more information about your rights about independent testing please call Sam Sliger at (706) 778-5291. Sam regularly defends clients in Flowery Branch, Blairsville, Baldwin, Helen and White County. Sam is located at the New South location of the law firm of McDonald & Cody, LLC and is a part of the Criminal Division.