Urine Testing in Georgia DUIs
When the police observe what they deem to be impaired driving, they will rely on their observations and any other evidence they can gather to support their theory. During many DUI stops the police officer will try and have the driver submit to field sobriety tests as an indicator of their inebriation. However, prosecutors also hope to use more hard evidence to support DUI charges, including chemical tests to show that the driver had some drugs or alcohol in their system.
If you are a driver in Georgia, you have given your implied consent to submit to chemical testing after a DUI arrest. You may not have realized this, but this is one of the conditions of having the privilege of driving on roads or highways in Georgia. The Georgia Department of Driver Services will suspend your license for a year if you refuse to submit to a chemical test after you are arrested.
The three chemical tests used in Georgia DUIs arrests are blood, breath and urine tests. Of the three, urine tests are used less often, and have been deemed by many experts to be the least reliable test. When testing for alcohol, the police will most often try and obtain a breath test or a blood test. Although no chemical test is 100% accurate all the time, breath and blood tests are generally considered to be more reliable indicators of the levels of alcohol in a person's body.
Urine tests usually come into play when the police suspect the driver is under the influence of drugs. Depending on the situation, the police may immediately suspect a driver is on drugs as soon as them encounter them at a roadside stop. Other times, the police may suspect a combination of drugs and alcohol. Even if the police officer suspects alcohol intoxication, if the breathalyzer shows a low level of alcohol in the blood stream, they may move onto a urine test if the level of intoxication appears to be greater than the alcohol level indicates.
The chemical test results from urine testing indicate the presence of certain chemicals in urine. This does not give as clear an indication of when the drugs or alcohol were consumed or how much, because a number of factors can impact how long chemicals stay in a person's urine.
Alcohol levels in the urine can vary greatly based on the passage of time, alcohol consumption, regular-use levels, how much food and water was consumed, exercise and activity levels, medical conditions and prescription medications.
Some drugs will be detectable in your urine for days or even weeks after use. It may not seem fair that a prescription drug you legally took a week ago, without driving, can be used against you when it shows up on a drug test when you no longer were under any effect of the drugs.
Because of how inaccurate urine tests can be to show whether or not you were impaired under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your Atlanta DUI lawyer can use chemical, drug and medical experts to explain to the jury how these tests are not a good indicator of impairment levels.
Urine Test DUI Defense in Atlanta
If you got arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the police test your urine instead of, or in addition to breath and blood tests, you can challenge those results. Just because the urine test showed you were positive for drugs or alcohol does not mean that you were impaired. With more than 20 years of Georgia DUI experience, I have successfully represented thousands of individuals charged with alcohol or drug DUIs. Call me today and we'll work to get your charges reduced or dismissed, so you can keep your record clean.