What Every Driver Should Know

In the Atlanta and the North Georgia area, there are ample opportunities to get stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence. With wineries, racetracks, and boating—not to mention the tourist traps—overzealous officers and troopers are scrupulously monitoring the roads.

But they can be wrong. Their equipment can be faulty. The test results can be false.

A Driver’s Rights During a DUI Arrest

It is important to know your rights anytime you are out driving on the road. If you are pulled over, the police have the right to—

  • Ask questions—They can ask, but be careful with your answers. Respond respectfully and succinctly. Save the emotion for your session with your attorney.
  • Search your vehicle—In most cases, the police need to have both probable cause and a warrant to conduct a search. Without them, you have a choice. If you agree to the search, the police no longer need probable cause and/or a warrant. If you do not agree, you may be far better off.
  • Administer chemical blood alcohol testing—Georgia is an implied consent state. That means by virtue of the fact you are on a Georgia road, you agree to a blood alcohol test if you are stopped. Refusal to submit to testing could result in suspension of your license for one year.

Always Request An Independent Test

Sam Sliger knows this, because he expends a great deal of energy and time into understanding how this all works. His advice?  “Always request an independent test.”

In 2008, the National Law Journal reported that partner, Gus McDonald, of McDonald & Cody, LLC and fellow lawyer Billy L. Spruell of Spruell Taylor & Associates found that the blood testing machinery used by the Georgia Crime Lab, a part of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, occasionally swapped blood samples. They estimated 18,000 blood samples taken in 2001 and 2002 were affected, indicating some guilty parties went free and some innocent parties were wrongfully charged and convicted.

Georgia’s Zero Tolerance

For drivers under the age of 21, blood alcohol content (BAC) need only be 0.02 percent to result in a DUI charge. That could be less than one drink. And that, of course, is the point of zero tolerance: not to drink and drive at all.

Timing is Everything

If you are arrested for DUI, contact a DUI lawyer immediately. There are timelines that could affect your case. Most likely, an administrative suspension has already been initiated and there is no time to waste—a written request for a hearing must be delivered to the Georgia Department of Driver Services within ten business days of your arrest.

In addition, the sooner evidence can be collected, the better. With the passage of time, crucial information can disappear. Sam Sliger can provide experienced counsel to protect your rights throughout the entire legal process.

Get Out Of The Box

Do not let a charge of drunk driving or driving under the influence box you in. Call Sam Sliger of McDonald & Cody, LLC in Cornelia at (706) 778-5291 today or send him an email to sam@mcdonaldcody.com to schedule your free initial consultation. Learn what a difference a maverick can make.