What is Implied Consent?
Under “implied consent” laws in all states, when you apply for a driver’s license, you agree to submit to a chemical (breath, blood, or urine) test if you are arrested for DUI in exchange for your driving privileges.
Notification and Testing by Arresting Officer
When you are arrested for DUI, an officer must recite Georgia’s “implied consent notice.” This notice informs you of your requirement to submit to testing, stating that if you refuse to take a chemical test, your license will be suspended for at least one year and your refusal may be used against you in court. The officer must also explain that if you choose to take a test, you then have the option of asking for a second test (at your expense) and choose who gives it. The officer will then ask if you submit to the chemical test of their choosing. This test must be performed using designated machines and methods. For example, blood draws must be performed by medical professionals.
Refusal to Submit
If you refuse the officer’s lawful request for a chemical test, your license will be suspended for one year. You can request a hearing to challenge the suspension within 30 days, but the fact that you refused will likely be used against you in criminal court to indicate you had something to hide. In Georgia, the consequences for refusal are milder than those for a DUI, which include jail time, fines, community service, and completion of an alcohol program. However, refusing the test does not guarantee that you won’t still be convicted of DUI. You will have to make the decision of whether to submit or refuse the test on your own because Georgia law doesn’t give drivers the right to consult with an attorney prior to deciding whether to take a chemical test.
After Arrest: Make Bond as Soon as Possible
You will need to bond out of jail or wait in custody until your arraignment. Contact us to help you get out of jail as fast as possible!
After Release: Next Steps
- Hire a qualified DUI attorney who knows the applicable laws and can help guide you through the legal process.
- Record your version of your arrest by writing thorough notes for your attorney to fight the charges brought against you.
- Contact the DMV within 10 days of your arrest to schedule what’s known as a DMV APS hearing. If you wait too long, you waive your right to the hearing, and the suspension of your license will automatically take effect 30 days after the date of your DUI arrest.
Disclaimer: This article is not to be taken as legal advice or intended to condone driving under the influence, but rather to inform you of your rights during a DUI arrest.