Georgia Refusal DUI Q and A

Q: Can I be charged with a refusal DUI in Georgia if I was willing to take a blood test but didn't want a breath test?

A: Yes, under Georgia's DUI law, the arresting officer has the right to ask for a test of your blood, breath, or urine- or all three. DUI cases involve blood and breath tests, but occasionally the officer will ask for both.

The key is that the officer dictates the test to be taken first. After you take the required test, then you are entitled to a test of your choosing. If you do not take the cop's requested test, then you can be charged with a refusal DUI and must defend your case in court.

Q: I have heard to always refuse DUI testing, so I did when I was stopped and investigated for DUI. However, I was still charged with DUI and given a court date. Will these charges be dismissed? Can they prosecute me for a DUI crime without any test?

A: Yes, in Georgia, you can be prosecuted for a DUI even if you refused all testing. I explain it to my client like this: there are 2 possible DUI cases when it comes to an alcohol DUI, a less safe DUI and a per se DUI. If you refuse all tests, the cop can still arrest you for a less safe DUI; it is the officer's opinion that you were too impaired to safely drive your vehicle because of alcohol. A cop's less safe DUI case does not need field tests, the charge can be based solely on the officer's observations of you, your driving, and any other clues he notices that point to DUI.

Q: Can a refusal DUI be held against me if I fight my charge? Can the prosecutor mention that I did not take tests?

A: Georgia DUI laws allow the prosecutor to comment on your refusal to take DUI tests. Under the law, if you refuse testing, the prosecutor can argue to a judge or jury that the tests you refused would have shown the presence of alcohol (or whatever substance they were looking for). Prosecutors frequently use this argument in trial to argue that if you had truly not been drinking, you would have taken the tests. They will certainly capitalize on the argument of: what does an innocent person have to hide??

If you have specific questions about refusal DUI charges, call or email us today to discuss the facts of your case.

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