The cities of Alpharetta and Milton, Georgia, are stepping up DUI (driving under the influence) enforcement in 2023. This information is designed to provide you insight and crucial information if you have been charged with DUI recently by either of these cities. Take your time to read this information first, then give us a call to discuss how our trial team can help you obtain the best results possible within either of these court systems.
How Can You be Charged with DUI in Alpharetta of Milton?
Under Georgia law, DUI can be charged several ways, though the most common charges are due to DUI-alcohol, either per se or less safe, and DUI-drugs. For DUI-alcohol, the two ways these cities may attempt to prove their case is to either show (a) you were less safe to drive due to your alcohol consumption, or (b) you were over the per se (statutory) legal limit of 0.08 for drivers 21 and over. That limit drops to 0.02 for drivers under 21 years old. For DUI-drugs, we are seeing a high volume of suspected marijuana use DUIs, as well as prescription drug DUIs. Yes, you can be charged with DUI even if you are taking a prescribed medication per your doctor’s orders, though the cop must prove you were incapable of driving safely due to the medication.
Sobriety Tests Used by Alpharetta and Milton Officers
Officers in both jurisdictions are trained according to NHTSA standards on the use of field sobriety tests in DUI investigations. The most common battery of tests given are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (the eye test), the walk and turn test, and the one leg stand test. Additionally, most Alpharetta and Milton police have portable breath test devices they will ask you to screen on while conducting their investigation. If marijuana or other drug use is suspected, these officers will sometimes do other eye tests (modified Romberg or lack of convergence) as well as look out for other indicators of drug use.
Chemical Testing of Blood or Breath
The Georgia implied consent warning is mandated for officers in Milton and Alpharetta, meaning after a DUI arrest, per Georgia law, they must read you the notice and request either blood, breath, or urine testing. If you agree to this testing, the officer is responsible for transporting you to have the test completed, either at a hospital or independent facility, or at the local jail. While breath tests results are instant, and should be turned over to you upon your release, blood tests are sent to the state crime lab, meaning a 60-90 day delay in results in most cases. Of course, if we are awaiting a blood test result, our team will work with the prosecutor in Milton and Alpharetta to hold your case open while we await these results.
Appealing a Driver’s License Suspension
If you took a breath test and tested over the limit, or the officer says you refused testing, chances are you received a “1205” Dept. of Driver Services (DDS) suspension form. Having expert help is essential to navigating this license suspension process, and our team handles hundreds of these suspension hearings annually. While you do have the option to obtain an ignition interlock device to satisfy DDS, a vast majority of our clients file the required appeal letter to challenge the suspension of their license. This appeal process must be initiated within 30 days, without exception, otherwise DDS will initiate a 12-month license suspension without any limited permit available. Effectively handling this license suspension process is probably the single most important part of defending your DUI case in either of these jurisdictions.
Court Dates & Negotiations in Milton and Alpharetta
Our team works with the court staff in both of these cities to schedule and reschedule court dates and obtain all of the available evidence in your case. While your initial court date may be 60-90 days from the date of your arrest, subsequent court dates are usually 30-60 days apart. You will not be expected to jump in and attempt to speak with the prosecutor or judge, ever, unless we have negotiated a plea agreement that everyone agrees on and we are seeking to have the judge approve it.
Having Your DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving in Alpharetta or Milton
Our goal is to get you out of a DUI with as few lasting consequences as possible. Generally, prosecutors around Georgia use the reckless driving charge as their go-to during DUI negotiations. While it is certainly not guaranteed and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, our team has helped hundreds of clients negotiate for this lesser outcome, which effectively has your DUI dismissed. Generally, in both Alpharetta and Milton, we see requirements for reckless driving mirroring that of a DUI charge. At our first meeting, we are happy to provide you with our list that should help you navigate this process and begin knocking out these requirements before we even go to court.
In the event we cannot reach a resolution on Alpharetta or Milton, we have the option to transfer your case to the Fulton County Court System. This will get a fresh set of eyes on your case and for better or worse, delay the case. However, we prefer to push as hard as possible to get a guaranteed outcome in these city courts, as we usually find they are willing to be very reasonable in their negotiations.
If you have been charged with DUI in either of these jurisdictions, give us a call- we are happy to take the time to meet you face to face and discuss our experience and approach to fighting these cases. We have over 40 combined years between our two partners in defending DUIs and are regular faces in both Alpharetta and Milton. Let us put our experience to work to clear your good name.