Cohen & Hirsch Criminal Defense

Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorneys

Call 404-919-7096

Fierce Attorneys Fighting For Your Rights

Fierce Attorneys Fighting For Your Rights
  • “Andy was extremely knowledgeable and helpful in all matters.” Read more testimonials >
  • “Jill is an exceptional attorney that is very familiar and comfortable with the DeKalb County justice system.” Read more testimonials >
  • “If you need representation in DeKalb County for a criminal defense matter, I would highly suggest contacting Jill.” Read more testimonials >
  • “This was my first time being in trouble with law & I was very scared of having a negative impact on my life and career. Andy was prompt in responding to all emails and calming down my nerves throughout the process” Read more testimonials >
  • “Excellent on keeping me informed and up to date” Read more testimonials >
  • “I promise you'll not regret hiring her and you'll sleep better knowing she has your back. Thanks so much Jill, I'll never forget you.” Read more testimonials >
  • “ “Andy was extremely knowledgeable and helpful in all matters.” Read more testimonials >
  • “I highly recommend Jill and her team and I appreciate all that she did for me!” Read more testimonials >
  • “Andy, thank you sooo much!! It was you that opened up that door, that lead us to your Awesome Law Family, and ultimately an AMAZING VICTORY!!” Read more testimonials >
  • “These guys are awesome! They each exhibited such passion and concern, we felt as if we were in a family meeting instead of a consultation.” Read more testimonials >
  • “Cohen & Hirsch saved my son's life and I would recommend them to anyone needing a criminal lawyer.” Read more testimonials >
  • “I highly recommend his Law Firm!” Read more testimonials >

Can you refuse a breath test in a DUI stop?

You are driving home after a casual night out. Just minutes from arriving home, you spot red and blue lights behind your car. Nervous, you pull over. Now with thoughts racing through your head, you wonder whether you should consent to taking a breath test.

Georgia's implied consent law stated that drivers consent to cooperating with law enforcement officials and taking roadside tests. However, a recent decision by the Georgia Supreme Court has dramatically affected the state’s DUI law. This decision affects both the approach of police officers and the decisions of drivers in DUI stops.

Changes to the implied consent law

Previously, a driver’s refusal to consent to a breath test during a DUI stop could work against them as evidence in criminal court proceedings. The refusal could lead to steeper penalties. However, the court ruled that such a law violates the constitutional rights of drivers against self-incrimination.

What this means for drivers

Drivers now have the option to consider several items when deciding whether to consent to a breath test:

  • The test could be unreliable due to many factors, including whether the test was properly administered and whether you have certain health issues
  • Refusing to take the test can still have consequences for your driver’s license
  • Taking the test could produce results that indicate a higher blood alcohol content (BAC) level than in reality
  • The police officer could still obtain a warrant to collect blood or urine samples from you

Refusing to take a breath test no longer works against drivers in criminal court, where prosecutors seek potential penalties of jail time, fines, probation time and more. However, this could still affect your ability to retain your driver’s license.

Georgia drivers have ten days after an arrest to request an administrative hearing to avoid the suspension of their driver’s license. However, refusing to take a breath test can lead to an automatic suspension while your criminal case is pending.

More changes could be on the way

These changes dramatically adjust DUI law. Yet, more changes could follow. After the ruling in February, prosecutors immediately instructed police officers to seek warrants to obtain blood or urine tests in lieu of depending on breath tests. These tests can be more difficult to facilitate, especially in rural Georgia communities. The court is expected to convene to address these issues and potentially make further changes.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information