The Ultimate Guide of How To Get Out Of A DUI!

A DUI arrest can turn your world upside down. An immediate loss of license can prevent you from getting to work and other day-to-day functions. Being labeled a “drunk driver” carries a serious social stigma and can bar you from participating in community events and organizations. If convicted, you face costly fines, tough administrative penalties and even jail time.

That’s why it’s important to contact a DUI attorney if you are arrested. An experienced DUI lawyer understands the complexities of the legal process and its weak links. With the help of a determined DUI attorney and an understanding about how good people are sometimes wrongfully charged, your chances of avoiding a permanent criminal record can be greatly improved.

GA Drunk Driving Laws - Breathalyzer Consent

Challenge the DUI Arrest and Stop

Police officers do not enjoy carte blanche when it comes to pulling people over. They must have a “reasonable suspicion” that a crime is underway to conduct a lawful traffic stop. Officers are generally motivated to make car stops because they sometimes lead to arrests for things such as outstanding warrants and illegal activity in the vehicle. An officer may use these and other excuses to make a stop and scrutinize your demeanor.

  • Speeding
  • Driving too slowly
  • Weaving in traffic
  • Weaving outside designated travel lanes
  • Outdated registration or inspection sticker
  • Broken tail lights
  • Failing to signal a turn
  • Tailgating

There are numerous reasons that officers give to pull you over and then require a field sobriety test. These reasons must be made clear in the arresting officer’s report and they can be placed under strict scrutiny in a court of law. If they don’t hold water, the evidence against you can be thrown out. The charges are often get dropped as well. If you are arrested, make a detailed record of what transpired and why you were stopped.

Challenging the Validity of a Field Sobriety Test

For those who watch cop shows on TV, dashcam video provides a window into the crime scene. People who have suffered a DUI arrest are quickly finding that this video log can help demonstrate that the police failed to follow proper protocol when giving a field sobriety test. Departments generally follow a standardized DUI test that includes the following.

  • Horizontal gaze examination
  • The walk and turn test
  • Stand on one leg test

Some non-standard DUI arrest tests can include reciting the alphabet backwards, counting the fingers an officer holds up, and touching your nose with one finger while your eyes are closed. These may be part of a department’s accepted protocol.

Deviation from approved testing and protocol can raise questions about legitimacy and police bias. Dashcam video can also provide proof that you passed the roadside test. If that’s the case, the police may not have had a lawful reason to request a breathalyzer.

Challenge the Breathalyzer Results

If the officer believes sufficient cause exists, you could be hauled into the station for a breathalyzer. When it comes to blood alcohol content results, the old saying that “science is not an exact science” applies. These tests often produce faulty BAC results. These are some of the common things that cause inaccuracies.

  • Improperly Maintained Equipment: To produce accurate results, breathalyzer machinery must be fully calibrated and up to date. This delicate equipment also requires the ongoing care of a trained technician.
  • Improperly Administered Tests: Inexperienced operators and mistakes when conducting the test can result in heightened blood alcohol content results. Human error is common.
  • Health-Related Issues: There are several health conditions that can cause erroneous breathalyzer results. These include things such as acid reflux, GERD, hypoglycemia and diabetes.
  • Dental Work: One of the commonly overlooked factors is dental work. A single piece of alcohol-soaked food trapped in braces or other dental work can greatly influence the final BAC rating.
  • Product-Influenced Results: Oral hygiene products such as mouthwash can enhance breathalyzer results. Studies are also finding that alcohol-laced hand sanitizers can influence the test when used by defendants, police or test administrators. The machine generally cannot distinguish between types of alcohol.
  • Dietary Factors: Specialized diets such as Atkins, low-carbohydrate or high-protein programs can produce false positives in breathalyzer exams. Many of these diets cause the body to produce isopropyl alcohol. Studies have shown that the equipment is not designed to distinguish between types of alcohol.

Rising Blood Alcohol Content Cases

One of the true challenges for accurate blood alcohol content test results stems from differences in absorption. Because every human body is unique, each one breaks down alcohol at a varying rate. The peak BAC concentration generally ranges between 30 and 90 minutes after consumption. Some people fall outside even that wide range.

Your rate of alcohol absorption can be an important legal factor in a DUI arrest. Even if you post a BAC of .08 at the station, that does not necessarily mean you were over the legal limit when driving. An experienced DUI lawyer can create a time line from the moment of alcohol consumption to the exact time you submitted to the chemical test. This may provide a clear picture that you did not actually commit a DUI offense.

Police Fail to Read You Your Rights

When police make an arrest, they are required to read you the “Miranda Rights.” This provides clarity that you can remain silent and have an attorney present during questioning. When the police fail to Mirandize a person, they are omitting the explanation that the answers to questions may be held against you. If they proceed to a field sobriety test or breathalyzer based on your responses, that evidence may be inadmissible. When a DUI attorney gets that evidence thrown out, the charges are often dropped.

Police Fail to Articulate “Implied Consent” Rules

Motorists are often unsure about whether you must submit to a breathalyzer examination. That makes sense because Miranda rights state that you may remain silent. Taking this drunk driving test seems to run contrary to your rights. However, the thinking is that you have given “implied consent” by virtue of accepting a motor vehicle operator’s license.

A police officer may request that you take a breathalyzer examination if, and only if, you fail a field sobriety test or the officer has probably cause. It’s important to note that law enforcement officials must provide you with an implied consent warning as well. That basically means that you understand that you can reject the test, but may be subject to automatic penalties based on that refusal.

The implied consent warning is particularly important because it is unlawful for a law enforcement official to demand or otherwise coerce you to submit to a chemical test. When officers omit the implied consent information and try to pressure you into taking a breathalyzer exam, the results may be inadmissible in court.

Work With An Experienced DUI Attorney

If you have been the victim of an erroneous DUI arrest or believe you are being treated unfairly by the police or prosecutors, contact an experienced DUI lawyer. Criminal defense attorneys are intimately familiar with how the local justice system works and know how to get out of a DUI. By documenting the common police errors in this guide, you can provide vital information for your DUI lawyer to use in your defense.

Smartphone Breathalyzers Take a Step Back

Do Not Drink and DriveWhat if the breathalyzer you are using doesn’t provide accurate readings of your blood alcohol content? When a company claims that a product “has undergone rigorous government lab-grade testing to ensure its accuracy,” we generally expect it to be backed up by some kind of verifiable evidence. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case with Breathometer, which was just handed a tough FTC ruling at the beginning of 2017.

You may have heard friends talking about the pocket-sized breathalyzer that would check your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) via an integrated smartphone app. The product exploded in popularity after appearing on the hit TV show Shark Tank in 2014, receiving $1 million in investment funding from the show’s hosts. The only problem was that the device did not work as advertised.

The Breathometer device was actually underreporting the user’s level of intoxication. While the device might report that you are below the legal driving limit, your actual blood alcohol concentration might be much higher. In a nutshell, the device’s inaccurate BAC readings could contribute to poor decision-making or over-the-limit driving, the very outcome it was intended to prevent.

Because of Breathometer’s tenuous reliability, the FTC ruled that the company will no longer be allowed to market the accuracy of its product without conducting more extensive research. Furthermore, the company would be required to offer a refund to customers who purchased the device, which had a retail price of $50.

So what does this mean for Georgia drivers?

First and perhaps most importantly, this is a wake up call for thousands of drivers who believe their portable breathalyzer will always display accurate results. Because the FTC report found that factors like humidity and temperature can drastically affect readings, users should be wary of using this device as a last line of defense against DUIs.

In the case that you are pulled over for a suspected DUI and blow over the limit, you may not be able to use the device’s inaccuracy in your defense. There is no legal precedent that suggests that an inaccurate test from a personal breathalyzer could help you get out of a DUI. In most cases, you are still responsible for operating the vehicle, no matter who or what told you it was safe to drive.

The legal driving limit in Georgia is 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. Under most circumstances, exceeding this limit will result in a DUI charge and a night in jail. While every defendant has mitigating circumstances that account for their state of intoxication, a faulty personal breathalyzer will probably not hold up as a reasonable defense. Unfortunately, these devices are not foolproof, so their results should be taken cautiously in any scenario.

The only real defense against a DUI is refusing to step into the driver’s seat. Calling a taxi or ride-sharing service like Uber is also a great way to ensure that you won’t end up in legal trouble.

For the times you do find yourself with a DUI charge, The Burnett Firm is here to help. For more than 25 years, our team of high-quality attorneys has served the Atlanta community and helped hundreds defend themselves against criminal charges. For more information, contact our team today at (404) 630-8599 and schedule a consultation with one of our legal professionals.

Boating Under the Influence Laws in Georgia for 2016

GA Drunk Boating & BUI Laws - Burnett Firm In November 2013, a Cumming resident was charged with homicide, reckless operation of a vessel, and boating under the influence following the deaths of two young boys in a drunk boating accident on Lake Lanier. While the outdoor fun of driving a boat may be conducive to drinking under the sun, Georgia has the same criminal penalties for boating under the influence that motorists face with DUI charges.

Public Support for Medical Marijuana in Georgia Increases

Georgia Medical Marijuana LawsAccording to a recent poll from ‘Georgians For Freedom in Healthcare,’ as much as 84.5 percent of respondents support expanding the state’s medical marijuana laws to include state-sponsored cultivation and production. But Governor Nathan Deal is skeptical about the benefits of an expanded medical marijuana program and the potential problems it could cause for law enforcement.

Can you be too drunk to consent to a breathalyzer test?

GA Drunk Driving Laws - Breathalyzer Consent/>It might sound too crazy to be true, but some Georgia drivers are actually asserting that they were too impaired to consent to a DUI test. In the same way that an individual cannot sign a contract while intoxicated, some criminal defense attorneys suggest that there are serious constitutional grounds for asserting that a drunk driver cannot be required to submit a blood, breath, or urine sample.

How Do Changing Marijuana Laws Affect Me?

Marijuana laws are changing rapidly across the country. Possession of the drug may be illegal in your state, but a short drive across state lines could mean that sale and use is now completely permissible.

Marijuana laws in the US are currently in a volatile flux. The federal government is finding it difficult to maintain strict laws against the drug, while states continue to legalize its use for both medicinal and recreational purposes. How do these changes affect residents in Georgia?

Frequently Asked Questions About Shoplifting

Being charged with shoplifting in Georgia can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the goods that were stolen. From the moment that security detains you, there are many questions that are probably racing through your head about how to handle the situation.

Shoplifting involves two sets of questions: where do your rights end and how far can the store go to prevent theft? Balancing these two questions means that the legal system is trying to find who overstepped their boundaries. Was the store allowed to confront and detain you? Did they have probable cause? Were you caught on video tampering or concealing items?

What To Expect With A First Offense DUI Charge in Georgia

States around the country are getting tougher on DUI’s. Considering the thousands of lives that drunk driving claims every year, it is no wonder that the criminal justice system is cracking down on DUI offenders.

After being arrested on your first DUI charge, you should understand that your life will irrevocably change. Money will be spent, attorneys will be met, and your personal reputation will take a hit. Minimizing the damage from a DUI is only possible with an experienced criminal attorney by your side to guide you through the legal process.