Breath & Blood Tests
Arrested for DUI in Forsyth County?
Under our state's Implied Consent Law, when you received your driver's license you agreed to undergo chemical testing (breath and blood tests) if stopped by a police officer for drinking and driving. When you refuse to take a test or fail it, you will be arrested for DUI. A failed test for a person under 21 years of age is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02% or more. For a commercial driver, it is .04% or higher and for those over 21 it is .08% or more.
In many states you can be forced to take a blood or urine test but this is not the case in Georgia. Your refusal can result, however, in a suspended license for a one year period and you will not be able to get a temporary license of any sort. Additionally, a prosecutor can utilize your refusal to be tested in the court case against you.
At Zeliff | Watson, our experience has shown that both breath and blood tests can be flawed and the results can, in many cases, be aggressively and successfully defended against. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer from our firm should be consulted with quickly if you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI charge based on breath or blood tests.
We offer a no-cost consultation to review your case and the best defense options available to you. Call us today at (770) 676-1340.
Challenging Blood & Breath Tests
The most common challenges to a DUI arrest in Georgia, regardless of the breath test result, are probably to challenge:
- The probable cause for the DUI arrest
- The reason for the stop of your vehicle
- The Georgia implied consent law
- and whether or not there are any Miranda (custody) issues
Miranda does not come up very frequently in DUI cases, but the length and overall progression of the traffic stop is always a relevant factor in a DUI case.
When a client's case involves a traffic stop or roadblock, we always file motions that challenge the legality of the traffic stop or roadblock. In order to be constitutional, the officer must have a valid reason for stopping your vehicle. Merely thinking your car looks or seems suspicious is not enough. The officer must be able to justify the stop with specific facts that equate to a violation of the law. If you are pulled over at a roadblock, or safety check as cops frequently call them, then the police must satisfy a whole set of requirements for the roadblock to be held as valid.
In addition to attacking the reason you were initially stopped, we always file motions in our client's cases looking at the probable cause for the DUI arrest. Remember, you were arrested for DUI before you took the state breath test. The officer could not predict that you would test over the legal limit at the time- they should be able to justify their reasoning for arresting and charging you with DUI. Whether or not the officer developed sufficient probable cause to arrest you will be explored in every case we take.
If you have recently been arrested in Cumming or Forsyth County for DUI, you were likely tested on the new Intoxilyzer 9000 machine. This machine is the first update since the early 90s for Georgia's breath testing machines. The new 9000, like the older Intoxilyzer 5000 can be improperly maintained or calibrated which can lead to test result errors. In some cases, it may not properly identify other chemical compounds which can skew the results. Various physical conditions or illnesses can bring about a situation where the Intoxilyzer is reading on something other than ethyl alcohol in a person's system.
Blood samples can, as well, prove to be improperly handled by law enforcement and the results may be inadmissible at your DUI trial. When a blood sample is not taken by a qualified person or incorrectly stored, it can make the sample unusable. Even failure to properly sterilize the area where the sample was drawn from can make the test invalid.
If you are arrested on DUI charges based on blood or breath tests, contact a DUI attorney to learn your legal options.