Georgia DUI Blood Testing
If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in the state of Georgia, you will likely be required to take a blood test. If your test results show that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit, you will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
A DUI conviction can result in punishments ranging from a sizeable fine to a license suspension. In some cases, you may even need to spend some time in jail if you are found guilty of this criminal offense.
Of course, you will only face these penalties if the prosecution can successfully prove that you drove while intoxicated. As such, it is in your best interest to make their job as difficult as possible. You can do that by hiring an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer – like those at Yeargan & Kert, LLC.
Contact our Atlanta law firm to schedule a free no-obligation case assessment today.
Georgia DUI Blood Tests – Understanding the Process
Your blood test result will have a sizeable impact on the eventual outcome of your case. As such, a good understanding of how the process works is necessary if you want to maximize your chances of avoiding a DUI conviction.
When pulling someone over on suspicion of driving under the influence, law enforcement officials have three main testing options – a breath test, a blood test, and a urine test. On occasion, police officers may also choose to have the suspect undergo some field sobriety tests.
Of these testing methods, the blood test is generally regarded to be the most accurate. As a result, it is the preferred option of most Georgia law enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys.
Undergoing a Blood Test
Unlike a standard breath test, blood tests cannot be administered on the side of the road. If you are required to undergo this form of alcohol testing, you will be brought to a medical lab. There, a lab technician will take a blood sample and put it through the testing protocols.
In the state of Georgia, the vast majority of blood tests are carried out using a process called gas chromatography. This measurement technique compares your sample to a known standard – allowing the lab tech to make note of any elevated chemical levels in your system.
Under Georgia law, you have the right to request an independent blood test in addition to your state-administered one. Exercising that right is almost always a good idea. The results from your independent test can be used to challenge the state’s findings if your case goes to trial.
To accommodate your request for an independent test, law enforcement officers must:
- Provide you with internet access so that you can locate a testing facility
- Drive you to the facility (if it within 50 miles), and
- Stop at an ATM to allow you to withdraw cash to pay for the test.
If you need an attorney in Atlanta to help you navigate the complex blood testing process, look no further than Yeargan & Kert, LLC. We have been providing legal advice and guidance to the local community for years, and we would love to do the same for you. Just give us a call to schedule your free consultation.
Can You Refuse to Take the Blood Test?
Under Georgia DUI laws, by operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway, you are consenting to undergo a chemical test for drugs or alcohol when requested by a law enforcement officer. This policy is referred to as implied consent.
Despite the existence of this law, it is still possible to refuse to take a test. Unfortunately, if you choose to opt-out of testing, you will face an automatic driver’s license suspension that lasts for one year. If you wish to appeal this suspension, you must do so within 30 days.
You should also note that even if you refuse to take a chemical test at first, you may still be required to undergo one eventually. If they have reason to believe that you are driving under the influence, the police can obtain a search warrant for a sample of your blood.
Are you facing DUI charges that are based on a blood test? Did you refuse to give consent to have your blood drawn by the police? Contact our Atlanta DUI defense lawyers for immediate legal assistance. We’re here to help you fight your DUI charges in any way that we can.
How to Challenge a Georgia DUI Blood Test
If the results of your blood test indicate that your BAC is over the legal limit, you may think that a DUI conviction is inevitable. However, this is not necessarily the case. With some help from your Yeargan & Kert, LLC defense attorney, you may be able to challenge your test results on one or more of the following grounds:
Because blood tests are required to be incredibly precise, it is essential that the testing machine is properly calibrated prior to the analysis. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many state-administered blood tests are carried out on machines that are inaccurate.
If the machine that analyses your blood test is found to be improperly calibrated, our attorneys will work hard to get the results thrown out. The prosecution’s entire case is likely to follow soon after.
When carrying out your blood test, the on-duty lab tech must follow proper protocol. Of course, since technicians are human, they often make mistakes like using unsterilized equipment or otherwise contaminating the sample.
If one or more of these errors occur during your test, your results will be inaccurate. With the prosecution’s key evidence tainted, it may then be possible for us to file a motion to dismiss the case completely.
When the state takes a sample of your blood, they are obliged to store it at the correct temperature. If they fail to do so, the blood may begin to ferment – a process which can artificially inflate your BAC readings.
Our tenacious DUI defense lawyers will investigate whether or not your blood was stored correctly. If it was not, we may be able to have the evidence gathered from the test thrown out.
Chain of Custody Issues
When handling your blood sample, the state must keep an accurate account of where it was and who had access to it at all times. If the chain of custody is broken, even for a short while, the integrity of the sample can no longer be guaranteed.
As soon as our attorneys learn that your blood sample was briefly unaccounted for, we will immediately seek to have the results invalidated. If we are successful, the prosecution is likely to drop your DUI charge soon after.
How Our Atlanta DUI Defense Lawyers Can Help You
When you hire one of our knowledgeable lawyers, we will work diligently to defend you against the possibility of a DUI conviction. During the blood testing phase of the process, we will help you by:
Protecting Your Rights
When testing your blood, law enforcement officers must respect your constitutional rights, as well as those granted to you by the state of Georgia. If they fail to do so, it may be possible to have the results of the test thrown out. Without this key evidence, the prosecuting attorney is likely to drop your DUI charge before too long.
Having represented hundreds of DUI defendants over the years, the attorneys at Yeargan & Kert, LLC have become experts at spotting rights violations. When you work with us, we will make sure that your liberties are not stepped on by overzealous police officers or prosecuting attorneys. If we do happen to spot anything improper, you can count on us to take appropriate action immediately.
Providing You with Legal Guidance
Georgia’s blood testing process can best be described as confusing and complex. As such, if you want to get through it without causing irreparable harm to your defense, you will need the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer. That’s what you’ll get when you turn to Yeargan & Kert, LLC for help after your DUI arrest.
Since our founding, our legal team has helped countless Atlantans navigate the complicated blood testing process. When you hire us, we can use that experience to provide you with the advice and guidance you need to get through it without harming your case. In some instances, we may even be able to help you find a way to challenge the results of your blood test.
Does Your DUI Involve a Blood Test? Let Us Help.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Georgia, the experienced attorneys at Yeargan & Kert, LLC can help. From your initial arrest to your blood test and even through to a potential trial – we will be by your side providing you with advice and guidance. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, all you need to do is give us a call or contact us online.