During a DUI arrest in Georgia, you are bombarded with questions and demands and have mere minutes to make critical decisions. Perhaps the most major decision you are confronted with is whether of not you will voluntarily submit to chemical testing in the form of a blood or breath test. With such high stakes on the line, it seems fair you could call a lawyer for some advice. But, in Georgia, can you? The answer is no.
Georgia court decisions dating back to the early 1970s have consistently held that one arrested for DUI does not have the right to consult with a lawyer before deciding whether or not to take a breath (or blood) test. Under implied consent laws, a cop is trained to read you the Georgia implied consent notice, which is a wordy and often confusing explanation of your rights. I see dozens of cases a year where clients simply ask the cop for clarification, explanation, or a little guidance, only to be told NO. This leaves people flipping a coin, or going off a friend of a friend's lawyer friend's advice when deciding whether or not to submit to testing.
Unfortunately, you do not have the right a a lawyer's advice before deciding whether or not to take a breath test. However, cops must still follow certain procedures during DUI arrests in order for them to be considered valid and for their test or your alleged refusal to be admissible. If you have been arrested for DUI and asked to speak to a lawyer, or were given confusing information by the officer about breath or blood testing, call or email me today to discuss your case. Our firm attacks these chemical test on an almost daily basis and we will happily discuss your possible defenses with you. We cover courts throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia.
For a Georgia Supreme Court decision discussing a DUI suspect's right to an attorney before testing, read Rackoff v. State, 637 SE2d 706 (2006).