Blood Testing for DUI Arrests in Georgia
Georgia law enforcement use chemical testing during DUI arrests. The process is used to determine whether a driver has alcohol or drugs in their system, and for alcohol, to try and determine the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC). The BAC level is important in DUI cases, as it helps prosecutors establish per se intoxication under state law. For most drivers 21-years-old and over, having a BAC of 0.08% or greater is a per se violation of the state's DUI laws. For commercial driver's the limit is half of that, at 0.04%. For underage drivers, because of Georgia's zero-tolerance policy towards underage drinking, a BAC of 0.02% or greater can get a young driver in trouble.
How to the police test a driver's BAC? The most common way to determine BAC is through chemical testing of the driver's breath or blood. After a driver is arrested, they are instructed to submit to a blood or breath test, or less often, to a urine test.
If you refuse to submit to a chemical test after you are arrested for a DUI, your driver's license may be administratively suspended by the Department of Driver Services for a year. This is because of the state's implied consent laws. You have impliedly “consented” to submitting to chemical testing, and if you refuse, you'll lose your driving privileges.
Even if you refuse a blood test after a DUI, the police can try and get a warrant for a blood test. If a judge determines that the police have met the requirements for a blood draw warrant, a blood sample could be taken for analysis even if you do not agree to it.
If you are worried that a chemical test will mean a conviction, remember that the prosecutor doesn't need a chemical test to show you were intoxicated. The prosecutor can argue that you were impaired based on the police officer's observations of your driving, and any other indicators such as slurred speech, the smell of alcohol, and failed field sobriety tests.
DUI Blood Testing
Blood tests can be taken at the police station or in the hospital, depending on the situation. While blood tests are usually considered to be more accurate than breath analysis to show a person's blood alcohol content, they are not 100% all the time. Sometimes even blood results can be inaccurate, showing a higher BAC than the driver actually had at the time they were driving.
Medical conditions, medications, and other things can possibly alter blood test results. Blood testing can be subject to human error, false positives, and even lab mix-ups. There are ways to dispute the BAC levels produced by blood testing. Errors can take place in gathering the blood, in the blood testing, and in calibration of the machine.
Experienced DUI Attorney
If you were arrested for driving under the influence in the Atlanta area, and the police took a blood, breath or urine test, you may be facing a DUI conviction. But a chemical test is not the only thing that will determine whether you get convicted. Your Atlanta DUI lawyer can do an investigation into your case, and fight your charges. Call me today, so we can discuss exactly what happened in your case, and I will fight for you to keep your license to drive, and keep your record clear.